Beyond the Property Line
You must login to vote
As the girl moves, she is accompanied by the sound of her corduroy pants. They swoosh like a sharp saw through timber; that is, until something excites the girl and she breaks into a run to the edge of the property.
I want you to take those off, the mother yells out to her daughter.
The girl runs back to the porch. She loves the sound of her pants; she loves the way they feel.
Why? These are my favorite, says the girl, rubbing her hand across her red corduroy pants.
Because you never take them off.
So, says the girl limply.
You have a closet full of nice things, her mother says.
The girl watches a grasshopper ease itself along the spine of a blade of grass until it springs off and is gone from sight.
None of those fit like these.
I have tried, says the girl as her mother tucks back into the house.
The girl tugs at the zipper below her bellybutton, then again -- she’s been trying for days with no luck. She wants to go inside now but moves suddenly away from the porch, a child sprinting for the first time in grass with bare feet, wild, exuberant, or so her mother thinks as she watches her from the kitchen window.
The girl runs and the gentle sounds of her pants have become rivers of sound; she moves with the cadence that has been decided for her, guided by that which has her bound below the waist, to the quarry beyond the property line.
Her mother assumes she’ll be back in a second. Mary knows the rules, she thinks, and looks away to prepare some ham and cheese for lunch.