I go with her to burgle her childhood home. We drive past the house twice, once from each direction, ensuring that the driveway is empty. A Jeepless house is a fatherless house. Continuing a half-mile north of her old stomping grounds, we turn onto Lindy farm road, thudding in and out of ruts. I didn’t know before today that she was capable of silence. I decide on a shadowy spot off the berm and pull over. This is where we’ll park, conceal, and ditch the car. I cover my SUV with branches, some brush. It’s amateur hour. It’s sunset.
We stride parallel with barn beams, electric cow fences, strips of shingles from the shingleless eaves. We move in fallow cornrow gutters. I remember her saying that this is where the arrowheads are embedded in the watershed’s soil. Susquehannock artifacts. There was a phase when she joined her dad to collect the arrowheads; a phase before Lindy — whose farm is adjacent to the housing development — joined the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance (2008); a phase before she learned the word “domicile,” before she ran away (2005); a phase before the age-of-onset for her father’s mental illness (2004), but not much before.
In the field, I am feeling detectable, highly visible in flannel. I notice all the vantages from which I can be noticed. The backs of houses. Over thirty windows. I think how one must have a set of eyes. I settle on the weathervane as narc. A cockerel skewered to a