Now and then
Alfred strolled solemnly through the shallow waters of the river. With every step, wet sand oozed between his toes. The sun was setting slowly, its reflection stretching across the river's surface, a rippling semicircle of liquid heat.
Jethro awoke with a start.
Children overlooked lead overlooked lives.
Their toil to be seen through our eyes.
Why do some forget that time is short.
Each day brings us near the end.
We should have recognized the omens the night we cruised into Santa Fe. When snowdrifts obscured the friendly signs and covered the windows of strangers that would normally welcome visitors like us; when blizzard-like conditions caused every automobile to creep along the interstate in fear that an overcorrection of the wheel might fatefully crush metal and bones upon impact with red rock encased in ice; when we finally arrived at our hotel room, exhausted after twelve hours on the road, and it appeared as though a drug dealer or wild animal had inhabited the place for months -- crooked picture frames and dank, mustard-colored sheets left behind as ruffled remnants of his nightly terrors, induced by bad trips, bad dreams, or bad luck.