Last week when I picked up my CSA allotment in town, disorder littered the yard next door. Empty space where plants stood the week before. Wood chips and leaves scattered across the lot, and a bundle of recently-cut mottled sticks stacked close to the chain-link fence, on which there hung a hand-lettered posterboard:
"To whoever stole the wood at the curb, DON'T BURN IT. Oleander is POISON. The smoke will make you sick."
I wonder. About the kind of people who take wood from someone else's yard. Do they eat grapes at the grocery before the grapes are weighed and paid?
The taking might have been innocent. They thought wood stacked next to the curb was a trash day discard destined for the dump. They'd be saving community dollars by taking it.
The street is quiet, lined with homes; the takers probably live in the neighborhood. Did they walk by again and see the sign before the lettering ran in the rain and the homeowners took it down?
Nights have been cool since the sign was posted. Did the takers burn the wood?
Did the cat die by the fire, the children suffer seizures?
The strands stretch beyond sight, pulling.
Words and photos by Kathleen Scott,for her blog Hill Country Mysteries. Copyright 2009-2010.