Butterfly Mind

My grandfather had a great round belly, and he wore dentures. He and my grandmother lived on a hundred acres of hilly land in dairy country, in Eatonton, Georgia. When we visited, I knocked the spider webs out of Nannie’s rubber boots each morning, and I walked through the dewy grass with Grandaddy to the compost pile, where he’d dump the canteloupe rinds from breakfast and the green bean tips from last nights dinner. I looked up at the hollowed out gourds he hung for bird houses, and after tossing the produce scraps on the pile, we walked among the peach trees.

The air smelled different in the morning because the world was cool and wet. The grass smelled grassier, the earth smelled earthier. Later in the day the world would smell musty and oppressive: hot. But in the morning it smelled fresh. Since Grandaddy and Nannie didn’t have cows…

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