Break In by Lewis Turco
At first I didn’t know what I was looking at.
I stood in the shed staring at my riding mower
and the yard trailer hitched to it. At last I realized
pieces of both were missing — the wheels,
attachments, bolts. It wasn’t hard
to figure out who had done it: the Dorking kids
on the corner of Blinn Hill Road. The trooper who came
agreed I was probably right — the whole family were
often in trouble — but we had no
proof. No one was going to do
forensics for wheels and knobs. So, for the first time
in this little town in Maine we took measures. I nailed
the shed windows shut, put up motion alarms and lights, had
the windows of the barn boarded up,
invested in decent new locks.
The Dorking kids grew up some. The elder one went
to jail in Augusta, but others took their places:
another bunch of kids came and bilked a dying sister-
in-law out of cash, stole a check, forged
her signature: the bank never
made the loss good although its accounts were insured.
The mower was fixed and traded in for a new one;
I bought a new and larger trailer, stored them both elsewhere,
went on gardening, mowing the lawn,
though the new apples were bitter.
© 2005-2008 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas