How Delicate These Arches
  
How Delicate These Arches
Footnotes from the Four Corners
Published:
1/7/2013
Format:
E-Book (available as ePub files) What's This
ISBN:
978-1-46892-214-1
I can only imagine how unconnected so many travelers must feel passing through the desert Southwest. Their instinctual GPS steers them clear of any complex community encounters and heads them straight toward Utah’s Canyonlands, or parks them at the Four Corners Monument to take a photograph with their loved ones standing on the only point in the continental US where four state borders converge, then nudges them on toward that great dip in the road, the Grand Canyon. If you follow this itinerary, you may see the sights but sadly, you’ll miss the experience.
...from... The watermelon whisperer For decades, when the summer melons rolled into the produce aisles, my mouth would water and I’d buy the biggest one. Unfortunately, not every watermelon is endowed with the same inalienable perfection, and I have carted home quite a few duds. Until I met Margaret in the produce aisle. If this sounds like a soap opera, it’s because I had humongous twin melons strapped into the child seat of my grocery cart. That’s when I saw Margaret. We slowed our carts, paused, and exchanged warm greetings. She had a single watermelon about the size of a soccer ball, a dark and glossy green one that reminds me of unripe fruit. “Are you going to buy both of those?” Margaret asked me. “And eat them too” I replied, flashing her a wide watermelon grin. “I hope they’re as good as they look.” “Well, really, David, they don’t look all that good.” I was shocked. Normally people who work at the library are quiet types who respect other people’s choices and try to help out when their advice is sought. Margaret had been this and more during the 20 years I had known her, but I’d never tried to talk with her over the business end of a watermelon. Then I remembered who I was talking to: It was Margaret – kind, sweet Margaret – the lady who helped me through graduate school by locating the stacks of resources, the Margaret who always says something nice about my latest column, the Margaret who has worked in our library since the library in Alexandria was burned by the Romans. That Margaret. I could trust Margaret. “Honestly,” I stammered, “I’ve don’t have a clue about choosing watermelons.” Margaret looked at me with those sympathetic but all-knowing reference librarian eyes, picked up the melon from her cart, and held it as if it were a puppy. Then she instructed me in the art of reading watermelons.
David Feela is a poet, free-lance writer, and writing instructor. His work – poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction – has appeared in hundreds of regional and national publications since 1974, as well as in over a dozen anthologies. Essays have appeared in the Denver Post where he was selected to be a “Colorado Voice” and also been printed as a contributor to the syndicated “Writers on the Range” series produced by the High Country News. For eleven years he served as a contributing editor and columnist for Inside/Outside Southwest. He currently writes monthly pieces for the Four Corners Free Press and the Durango Telegraph.
 
 


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