I woke up a few mornings ago. This is what was in my mind’s eye:
The salt cedar grew in the center of the yard between the back of the house and the bayou, a massive tree with branches like giant fingers or tentacles extending out feet and feet and feet from the center. I could get lost in there. A crushed oyster shell driveway encircled the tree. The chicken pen was at the property line, east of the tree. The property line to the west was on the other side of a path that ran from the back of the house to the pier and the bayou, between the tree and the edge of the property.
Our goose always knew when we came out to play and would come after us. I remember my sister running from the goose. The goose snapped at her bottom as she ran around and around the tree in an effort to escape. She was in elementary school. I was younger by a year and a half.
The bayou breeze blew her hair as she fled—her blond-white strands shimmering around her head. Feet bare, shorts and sleeveless shirt revealing browned arms and legs, my sister screaming as loud as she could, and no one going to her rescue, made one of the funniest sights I would ever see during the time we rented that boxy, gray house on Teichman Road in Galveston.