by Jarrod Tallman
It was the violet hour. Behind the purple layer of clouds, out past the mountains in the west, the sky burned cold and pink. Barely cool enough for a beanie, I wore one anyway. The tall limp grass was damp with prey and the leashes of both my dogs were pulled tight, their panting noses at the earth.
At the top of the hill, I heard it. A rush of sound swept through the small town. The blast, no doubt jubilant, rang out an extra second or two, a collective expression of work done and the week’s end. But in it there was also the changing of the season, the shifting sun and piles of leaves. It carried the immense weight of solitude, of cold streets, homesickness, and infinite nights of incurable loneliness. And I could smell cinnamon, with all the love in the world folded into warm holiday beds and dreams for next year. The rushing harmony reverberated the desperate passions of gentle old hands and fed-up young voices between the Black Hills and the Eastside. And in this pause, I found myself, too, wrapped up for a moment in the brewery whistle from this city on the sound, before everything melted and drifted away, out past the mountains and in to the cold pink sky.