ShareOld Roads, New Stories: A Literary Series Why We Have BlueI could tell you a heron tows the sky from night to day,or that herons pull the clouds along,ferrying rain to a harbor town where a boy is missing his dad.Maybe he’s twelve now, or seven,and this town has a woman catching storms in buckets,and she uses that water to wash her corners cleanbecause cobwebs, because wind-dust, because alwaysthe world returns with its same too much,but you wouldn’t believe me; herons are birds not stories.And the sky doesn’t move; who ever thought that it did? ~Come watch the boy for a minute; he’s riding a bike.Or he’s kicking a rock while he walks. Or since rainhasn’t soaked beneath a tree there’s still a cloud-head dandelion dry enough.Noises go on all around him: the shush of tires,of cars passing by on wet roadways, and dogs so constantly barking that you don’t even hear.And, yes, there are smells of course, just further in the background.Like the smell of spring-almost-over:mix of sun, chlorine, and arguments starting.Watch the boy while he grabs it. Blows the parachute-white away. ~The heron is great. And it’s blue.But it isn’t bringing a message.On nights that the moon goes missing, it only knows it’s dark. ~No, it’s stories we’ve got and keep telling. Storiesto seem less wingless. Stories to turnour necks around and look where we went wrong. ~Take the storm— it’s still there behind us in the harbor,and the woman dips a plain blue cup in a bucket.Do you know how it tastes to drink rain in the morning . . .not a drop that rolls down your cheek,a whole body-full? Maybe you can answer Yes like her.Or wish you could ~because seven,because wind-dust,because kicking a rock down the sidewalk,because it isn’t just tires that shush, and you don’t need rainto come along and whisper It’s too late. You’ll live it all over again, but with different and fewer people.Because sky.Because heron.Because the sky doesn’t move when the heron moves.Because whether it’s a harbor or a mountain town.Because missing,and mix up,and rain. ~Or else I could tell you that the boy looked up, and when he did,the heron was towing in sunlight. I could tell you he knows more than fightsand knows that summer is a different kind of blue,that it has no gray in its feathers.I could tell you the name of the harbor, or make one up less matter-of-fact.I could say It’s time for the bonfire to start. And we could go. Rob Carney’s new books Facts and Figures and The Last Tiger is Somewhere are available from Hoot ‘n’ Waddle and Unsolicited Press. Previous books include The Book of Sharks and 88 Maps. His first collection of creative nonfiction, Accidental Gardens, is forthcoming from Stormbird Press. Read Rob Carney’s Letter to America in Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, published by Terrain.org and Trinity University Press. Read poetry by Rob Carney appearing in Terrain.org: 6th Annual Contest Finalist, 4th Annual Contest Winner, and Issue 30. And listen to an interview on Montana Public Radio about The Book of Sharks.Header photo by Steve Bower, courtesy ShutterstockRob Rob .