Hold my hand while I tell you this story.
It begins with a picket fence. Not mine.
The one he never built. I’ll squeeze your
hand when code words have to be used.
No code there. That squeeze was just for
sensing our methods. When he planted
hyacinth where his picket fence should
have sprouted, we knew a change was
signaled, but saw no strange cars rolling
by to take note. I squeezed your hand on
hyacinth. We use that word for rebellion.
When we grilled that summer, we stocked
the ice chest often. Cold beer a necessity
when staring down hyacinth. We say ice
for fear. Perhaps I forgot to squeeze. One
of us prayed to God, while another drove a nail
into his chest with a claw hammer. I squeezed
because we use God for misdirection. One
of us pulled the nail using the same hammer.
No squeeze. Hammer means hammer.
Chiron is a research administrator for Oregon State University, College of Pharmacy. He is the father of two daughters and lives in the Portland area with his wife. Before life in Oregon, he was a stage actor (before the children), a journeyman printer, a restaurant owner and computer systems manager. He is currently pursuing his MFA in writing at OSU - Cascades.