There was a man in the small town where we lived whom we often saw walking toward the shore or along the cinder lanes of the marina. One such morning he walked through the town greeting people here and there with great cheer although a heavy weariness was obviously upon him. He was especially fond of children and remembered their names. Often he had lollypops for them, the old fashioned kind with looped strands of paper rope for handles rather than a stick; each fruity lozenge was the size of the face of a pocketwatch and covered in what he still called cellophane. He would always ask permission of the parents before offering the candy.

It turned out that on that particular day he had returned home from the hospital where his wife had died early that morning. He had been awake all night with her and then came home, awaiting the call from the undertaker to say he could come to see her. In the interim he walked through the town as usual.

What else was there to do? It was a day like any other when you think on it. His story like most others.

Who marks the widening spaces as these dark fingers close in on us, the river ruffled by the wind playing across its banks, this foreshortened palisade, the greening glade?