Modern day’s Huck Finn is rafting across the drainage run-off retention pond. While ducks bob in the wake of his plastic milk bottles and packaging Styrofoam and cable wire cleverly concocted into a young boy’s seaworthy vessel, a woman from the second floor balcony of the condominiums, frowned upon by the executive single family homes across the street, looks on unseen by the boy and the man with a fishing pole standing on the large concrete pipe which opens to the pond. Huck pulls and pushes and pulls and pushes himself along with a long, hollow, aluminum rod from which once hung a shower curtain. Little does he know that with each stroke, the rod bends slightly, weakening, stressing until finally it snaps and the boy is stranded in the center of the pond.
The man recasts with a long, soft whizzzz then kurplunk and cranks his lewer back again.
Unnoticed by the boy or the man, the woman from the second floor balcony, hidden, catches the beauty of the boy and the man and the mallards and drakes and Canadian Snow geese and the pond which is high today because of the rain; she catches the beauty of the pond, of its evolution from mere gravel hole dug by man’s powerful machines, to living, breathing nature; she catches the beauty of the pond and its creator and its symbiotic relationship with the cluster of condominiums and houses – homes – developed and smoothly paved streets with curbs and gutters angled precisely to feed it; she catches the beauty of the pond and its acceptance by the water fowl that no longer fly farther south because nature now provides them enough crumbs of cakes and bits of bread.
Now taking the risk and assured he is close enough to shore, the boy leaps from the raft pushing it back into the center and over toward the other side, startling the twice collared geese into abrupt flight. With a splash and a hop, Huck stumbles and stands, raises his hands in victory then strides away, proud of his boyhood accomplishment.
The woman on the balcony must have smiled as she steps inside, closing the sliding glass door, fading beyond the vertical blinds, resigning herself the responsibility of awareness.
The man recasts with a long, soft whizzzz then kurplunk and cranks his lewer back again, neverminding that nothing is there to be caught.