Fall 1962 • Vol. XXIV No. 4 Fiction |

A Maintenance of Love

Down away past the old sickle-shaped apple tree the lawn lowered and rose in a long curve against the line of dogwood and underbrush that preceded the woods. And the woods swept up like the crest of a huge wave that in a moment would break and thunder its massive green flood all down the grass, scattering a spume of butterflies, redstarts, yellow warblers, and infant rabbits up as far as the house. Once, in a real flood, the creek along the far side of the lawn had risen till the house was an island offshore of the woods. When the water subsided, concentric lines of debris, dry leaves, and small drowned carcasses had revealed the topography of the place, and all summer long the woods and lawn had smelled of death. But building and filling for new houses in the neighborhood, and the construction of the expressway since then, made another flood like that unlikely. Now the earth was sweet and moist under the slopes of the clipped green lawn, and the bright air still. Traffic rushin

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