Showing posts from March, 2009


Once upon a time, I stepped out of Brooklyn and went to live on a little farm in Massachusetts. I put cranberries in my pockets and tickled goat chins and learned the stories of strangers. And time passed and autumn came, and when the leaves fell from the trees, I returned.

hearts and barns

There were two of them building the barn. Brothers. Or that’s how he explained it. “Well, he’s like a brother to me,” the first carpenter said. “See, he dated this woman for a while and then he married her and they had two kids. Then, see, they split up. And later, she and I got together. Now me and that woman, we have two kids of our own. So he’s like family to me. I’m helping out, giving him this job” I smiled at him, but took it as a warning. First it was just a clearing in the trees, then a patch of packed earth, then a row of posts. Then the posts were connected with beams and covered with bright, new plywood. Alexandra watched the progress through the kitchen window and worried that it would never finish. I picked raspberries and listened to the two men talk. They rattled off numbers mostly. An eighth inch here and a thirty degree pitch there. They weren’t super educated, but I know I couldn’t have figured out all that math in my head. Every once in a while the


We went to the farm store in Alexandra’s minivan, the one with the bedding in the back from the time she injured her spine and had to be driven around lying down. We pushed aside blankets and pillows to make room for electric fence and hay bales. Alexandra layered up in her sweaters and winter coat and despite the warmth, tucked her long blonde hair behind a fur hat. Then we got in the car and crawled our way to town. “Oh, what they must think of me at the store,” she said, throwing an empty kambucha bottle on the floor and putting a fresh one in the cup holder. “They must think of me as that weird eccentric with the bed in her car... What a strange farmer I am.” The picture made me laugh and that made her laugh, so we laughed together while the sun brightened red leaves and we ribbonned our way down the mountain.