In his extreme and most distant youth, the son would seek out some method of covering. We knew he was gaining strength by the perishing grass, the balding patch of earth by the backyard fence. All he managed ended in death, so he covered it, shifting fallen leaves and dog toys around the broken landscape.
His awareness came and went, changed in degrees. When the neighbors watched, he moved swiftly, at a pace. He seemed to want to level his wickedest thoughts, gingerly piling them into a shallow, wide tray. We watched from the window; the neighbors, through the fence. He pushed all around his little area, a large and morphing being. "How old is he?" someone once asked. We did not know.
Out front, a tree begins to weep. We watch as he rises to comfort it, his large eyes in sympathy, limbs and torso pressing up against it, an awkward embrace.