411: Soaking Up Sun

411: Soaking Up Sun

411: Soaking Up Sun

Soaking Up Sun
by Tom Hennen

Today there is the kind of sunshine old men love, the kind of day when my grandfather would sit on the south side of the wooden corncrib where the sunlight warmed slowly all through the day like a wood stove. One after another dry leaves fell. No painful memories came. Everything was lit by a halo of light. The cornstalks glinted bright as pieces of glass. From the fields and cottonwood grove came the damp smell of mushrooms, of things going back to earth. I sat with my grandfather then. Sheep came up to us as we sat there, their oily wool so warm to my fingers, like a strange and magic snow. My grandfather whittled sweet smelling apple sticks just to get at the scent. His thumb had a permanent groove in it where the back of the knife blade rested. He let me listen to the wind, the wild geese, the soft dialect of sheep, while his own silence taught me every secret thing he knew.

"Soaking Up Sun," by Tom Hennen, from DARKNESS STICKS TO EVERYTHING by Tom Hennen, copyright © 2013 Copper Canyon Press. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press.