Thursday, August 19, 2010


My Land
by Brian Doyle



Fifty by one hundred yards of Oregon soil: a “standard lot,” a measurement of standardicity tracing back essentially to Thomas Jefferson, who owned an epic piece of Virginia, and probably would have considered my tiny shard of America merely something on which to build an infinitesimal shed to dismember pigs or stash his many cases of excellent French wine or ogle the estate slaves. But he owned his land, whereas I do not, not really. According to the laws of the United States, my family shares responsibility for “ownership” with our bank, which holds so many mortgages on the house and property they have lost count at the branch office and probably use our financial history as a scary part of training programs for the tall children they appear to be hiring by the thousands despite the ballyhooed economic dismay, which I wonder how that works, that banks that are said to be failing sure seem to be building vast new armies of tall young loan officers, and you wonder what for?
I do know that my land was inundated by floods for thousands of years, floods thought to have been hundreds of feet deep, icy epic floods from Montana, the Brest or Missoula Floods, which carved the valley where we live, and scoured the rocks, and left uncountable tons of soil behind when they finally ceased, and then for thousands of years, maybe millions, animals wandered across my land, some of them epic and immense animals, like mammoths, and beavers the size of cars, and some animals perhaps never yet discovered by science, which is a cool thought, albeit sad, in that those animals, perhaps bigger than beavers bigger than cars, will never wander through the yard again scaring the willies out of my children and making the squirrels quake in their furry little boots.

read the rest over at Barnstorm
Brian Doyle has also been in the last two issues of "The Sun" with some awesome poems

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