Sunday afternoon around four or so,
September's sun begins the long slide down from
the page of the novel I'm about two thirds through
and I'm wondering why even though I don't
much like it, I will slog on through
to the end.
Here on the backyard bench
I look across to the neighbors'
driveway and watch their SUV pull up to
the house, everybody pile out, dogs
included, making indistinguishable
noises, probably about where they've
been, what they've done.
And it occurs
to me that sitting with a book in my hands
is something I've done much too much,
that my mother was right when, long
ago, I overheard her tell her sister,
"he always has his nose in a book."
She said it bewilderdly, I imagine.
I am a bit that way myself, bewildered.
It's not what you'd call a moral failure. It's
not a flaw of character, at least I hope not.
It's more a secret sadness, a sense
that other people do so much more
interesting things on Sunday afternoons.