Gutted apartments stared from unfurnished windows to a clearing still tended. He walked his neighbourhood often but only today did he happen upon this path. Foot-hewn through streamside reeds. A bridge then a loading yard for defunct timbermills and construction warehouses.
In the aggregate-dusted yard, a circle of stones ganged about a charred patch where campfire embers had been raked out for fertilizer. In trowel excavated divots a crop of new saplings erected themselves fragile against the breeze. Bound by cable ties to driftwood scaffolds, all were stone fruit varieties, someone optimistic that they’d be able to grow at all.
He followed the cables of a few UV lamps to their ambiguity among dying grass. Beneath the young trees, his fingertips plunged into the pebbled earth and churned it in rumination over their puzzling success.
Moving back the way he came he felt some premonition of ill fate. The excessive disturbance of the earth. Surplus shovels, fit for pits. How the tenement watched him still.