When I heard the bombing had begun I drove down to Keene and bought a 3x magnifying glass, a sketch book and drawing pencils. Then, I went out behind the apartments to snap off seed pods, weeds I could not name and a couple of brittle leaves. I saved the afternoon by studying edges of petals, seeds, the marvelous veins and sketching them. On the page, I wrote: unknown weeds 10/7/01, found in the patch between Applewood and the Historical Museum; on the day we began bombing. Then I made a pot of soup out of black-eyed peas and a ham bone I'd frozen from Easter. I threw in onions, garlic, parsley, cumin, a couple of tomatoes-- whatever made sense. Enough for an army.
From Duties of the Spirit by Patricia Fargnoli, published by Tupelo Press. Copyright © 2005 by Patricia Gargnoli. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Tupelo Press.