The helicopter kept circling
with the search light.
Leonard hid in the avocado tree,
About two thirds of the way
and hugged a big branch.
Became the tree.
His aunt, Tia Tita
Could hear plants
They talked to her.
She hated going to the bank
Because all the plants
were so unhappy.
Every time she went they complained to her.
Leonard heard for the first time
a tree speak to him.
As he hugged it, the avocado tree
Reciprocated, heard him
And hid him from the world.
It said, “You spend so much time in fear.”
Trish was tired most days,
but particularly today.
Maybe it was the heat or
the fact she hadn’t really slept in a month.
Leonard had just disappeared and
left her with the bills to pay.
Working in the fields was hard work.
She didn’t blame him for going,
just blamed him for going like that.
Leonard stashed the revolver in the rabbit hutch.
The animal had died suddenly, so it was the perfect spot.
Obvious, yet psychologically off limits.
Couldn’t remember if he had wiped it for prints.
Couldn’t just check, the hutch was in the open.
Had to wait until everyone was gone.
And everyone was almost never gone.
Leonard stood on the side of the road.
Riding thumb in the July heat.
Kicking dust on Route 99,
down to his last 3 cigarettes.
Hestitated, then lit it squinting at the sun.
“Should’ve stayed maybe” he thought before shaking his head.
A pickup truck full of scrap metal slowed
and he carefully jumped in.
After the gun went off he couldn’t hear a thing.
Fortunately, neither could anyone else.
The door was slightly ajar.
Ran into the hallway and saw the stairs.
Took the stairwell a flight at a time.
Hit the street in a full sprint.
“Just let me get to the train station…”, Leonard prayed.
“Did you get it?”
“I couldn’t, they were home.”
“We gotta go back.”
“They’re still home.”
“I don’t care, I’ll go with you.”
“And do what?”
“I don’t know…distract them for a minute.”
“They’re not idiots. They already don’t trust you.”
“We gotta do something…look I’m shaking.”
“Have a drink and stop pacing!”
Ever notice how the champions of frugal living have money to burn?
When you’re broke, you don’t have the luxury of sacrifice.
Your entire life is spent getting back to zero.
Leonard wasn’t about to be without shoes.
Soaked through from the rain, he sat pensive vigil over them as they dried in the sun.