Academic journal article Field

St. Francis' Last Day

Academic journal article Field

St. Francis' Last Day

Article excerpt

He talked to me for a bit about bones and cast iron, how using both and a rubber-tipped hammer, you can determine the age of a tree. The rings, he said, are just there to fool you, and we, he said, are not to be fooled by trees. He went about preparing breakfast while I wound bobbins at the long table, a kind of day starting outside that pushed the curtains. Ate and put on hats, filled thermoses with coffee and soup.

He said, "The oldest trees were born three Christs ago" and told a story about a man who grew a chair out of the ground and another who, like St. Bartholomew, skinned the mother of the forest alive. He took her shell on a railroad tour.

Spent most of the afternoon with our knees in leaves, him mapping roots growing underground by knocking on the earth with his knuckles and listening. Wrapped red ribbons around the trees that were poisoned, prayed and kissed them, touched them with the tips of his fingers. …

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