The boy understood what it meant to look up.
And down, too.
He was a person who worked hard – when he remembered – and had profound thoughts – when he was caught off guard.
On Sunday mornings, he disappeared and though we looked, it was never until late, when he chose to reappear, that he would be found. I don’t know why I decided to follow him. Maybe I was tired of the gaze that saw everything but me.
So I followed him out, over the still-wet grass, past the bunkhouse and the willow-lined irrigation ditch turned creek bed. He pulled a bike from between bales and rode over the hill on tracks made by pick-ups and tractors. Out there, those tracks and haystack are reminders that we marked this place, that it is not wild, really.
I followed discreetly, though he probably knew all along I was there. We passed the pond and dipped down along the other side of it, and he disappeared into another stand of trees – quaking aspen, I thought, cottonwood. I waited.
He called me, then. Jules, come see!
I went; found him on his back, eyes on the brightening sky.
Look through the leaves, he said.
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