“I see you have a tremor,” he says and splays his toes the best he can, the crescent clippers swaying in my hand, his nails thick where a fungus yellows. My tremble gets at his quick—he flinches at the snick, snick. I can’t get the blades around such horny growth and the clippers wander away. Light pours through his tenth-story window, his 90- plus years, and I see objets, from Florence down from a dusty shelf. And up above, the faded portrait of Miriam long since gone, her wifely glow restored by his bright admiring words as my daydreaming hand wavers, and stops, listening to what he hears.
John Allman | Vachel Lindsay and the Whales of California Contents | Mudlark No. 48 (2012)