One thing from the other, nor knowing

How the teeth in Time’s jaw all snag backward”

-Robert Penn Warren, American Portrait: Old Style

Now and Then, Poems 1976-1978

If we wait for the moment when everything,

absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”

-Ivan Turgenev

Chapter One

World went dark.

His father long since gone but rarely there even before, passed into smoke and ash by alchemy of cremation, he walked the broken sidewalk a man yet a boy still, with a boy’s acceptance of what is given without thought to meaning or consequence. Yet also a man, with full burden of all handed a boy in a fatherless home when he comes of age, his mother and grandmother looking to him, holding out hope he will break from the inevitable past, the circular path of once known. He strode the shadowed street alone, live oaks reaching, stretching, black in the damp air.

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