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Evening falls softly and slowly on the prairie.  The sun slants along the horizon for a long time before it finally sinks out of sight.

I sit out on the patio with my faithful hound dog at my feet.  I’m sitting in my purple chair.  It’s the one I pulled out of the dump when they tore Ryan’s house down.  I cut the broken rockers off and painted it purple.  It’s a nice chair for sitting on the porch.  There’s a handmade rug that my mom made hanging over the back of my chair at the moment.  I washed it yesterday and hung it over the chair to dry.  It dried completely in the 90 degree weather today, but I like it there, I might leave it.

There is no wind tonight.  It’s so still and calm that I can hear Loren B. on his custom built Yamaha a mile away on the highway.  I listen as he downshifts and makes the turn onto Main and then up to his street.  He got the bike at a state surplus auction.  I know this because he was late for Kim’s birthday party the day he bought it and rode it home unlicensed.  In a town this small, you wouldn’t think you’d have to differentiate people by a last initial, but there’s Loren B and he lives two doors down from Loren H, and neither are to be confused with the differently spelled, but same sounding Lorne S.

A little closer to home, probably two blocks away I hear mens voices talking.  Only one stands out.  Herb O‘connor.  It’s the doorway of his shop where the men are standing, drinking beer and swapping stories.  Probably he and Gene and Smitty.  I can’t hear what Herb is saying, just the distinctive ring of his voice carries on the evening air.  

Closer yet, kitty-corner down the street, I hear my neighbor open his back door and call “come on in” as his mom parks in his driveway and  climbs the steps of his deck.  

Birds are chirping everywhere. I know I enjoy birdsong, but I do not know the song of specific birds, except the pheasant roosters. I hear one in the tall grass across the street and then one further away and then one over by the church.  The dog is fascinated by the evening moths flitting around.  The light fades by degrees.  A cotton tail rabbit hops across the street and stops in the middle to look around and see what is going on.

The sun is behind me, but I can feel the coolness to the air now.  The sun has set and it’s time for me to say goodnight.

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