In the next yard there were dogs that barked at me, and a llama.

picture of part of a thorn, taken by tony

Burrs in back the building, glass shard sharp, spiny as dried up sea creatures, something ancient, full of dusty venom, and camoflaged, invisible on the rough brown ground. The washroom was back there, a gray cinderblock building as inviting as a brick to the head, but my shoes were in the van. He found me there, helpless, caught like a confused fox in a trap, both feet pierced, and picked me up and put me on the stairs, where I could safely sit and pluck the curved thorns from my abused feet with my fingernails. My Sir Walter Raleigh, story told and modern, with a black knit hoodie instead of a cloak, a gesture as comfortable sweet as sitting by a fire.

They blow in from the neighbors, said the woman inside, as she handed us plates of box-mix flapjacks, weak eggs, and hard, greasy bacon. Her eyelids were painted an oddly stereotypical blue, the living memory of an old TV show, her hair styled like she attends a christian church. We use chemical weed killer, she continued, but there’s no stopping the wind. You’re lucky it’s not spring.

Outside, after, as I gingerly stood on the gravel shoulder of the road, trying not to regret breakfast, I saw an RV drive by towing a tall net cube full of colourful plastic balls behind it on a trailer. It was familiar, as we had paced it on the drive down, neighbors on the highway, stopping in almost all the same places. The driver smiled at me in recognition, and waved, and it was like we were friends.

It was warm there, once the sun came up, as wet as it is here.