Tucked in a corner of the highway my neighborhood is a comfortable one. Brick houses line up low and solid, their chimneys offering the occasional scent and curl of woodsmoke. Shabby in the way that established places tend to be, a genteel sort of aging as though rounded by the constant washing of time like a river. Polished.
Every so often a house glares, crisp and starched, from between its overgrown and faded neighbors and occasionally the road is patched with lines of tar so new and black the old paving looks white. Bleached with the same sun that turns monarch wings into dancing bits of stained glass.
Interstate engines filter through trees grown old enough to be the size for hugging, for hanging swings, for leaning against and learning wisdom. For looking up through leaves. Heard like this the tractor trailers become muffled, a distorted ocean roar. Soothing in their way.
Airplanes pass over, mark the highway, and bank right or left. Crows watch the grass grow. Today the wind whirled maple wings until the only sound was rushing air, like memories pressing to reach the sky. And yesterday the golden needles of a tamarack made a path to walk.