Native Places: Uncle Ement

Native Places: Uncle Ement

Uncle Ement His fingers were the size of turnips. When hornets were stinging his three-year-old grand-nephew one summer afternoon, my Uncle Ement used his bare hands to yank the hornets from the dinner bell that little Quentin had rung. Then he picked an aloe leaf to...
Native Places: Piankatank River

Native Places: Piankatank River

Piankatank River The kitchen window overlooked the Piankatank River in Virginia. When I finished making mushroom soup I stepped outside. It was dusk on a winter evening. I was worried about a friend 400 miles away who was gravely ill. A group of wild ducks settled in...
Native Places: Smells like Rain

Native Places: Smells like Rain

Smells like Rain The hunter sat waiting and looking up in a beech-wood. “The leaves were whispering faintly over my head,” wrote Ivan Turgenev. “You could have told the time of year from their whisper alone.” “Partly cloudy, wind NNW, 62F,” a weather app might have...
Native Places: Laughter of Children

Native Places: Laughter of Children

The Laughter of Children  “My neighborhood is so damn quiet,” a friend said. “When we moved in thirty years ago, children were everywhere. Now it’s quiet and all of a sudden we’re old.” Just then laughter parted the air. Children were playing nearby. “It’s the...