These Great Lakes
Without elevations, hurricanes, or earthquakes, without geological alarms, we learn to count the angles in the sky and to admire four-barrel carburetors in the muscle cars that combine with roadside trees in the six-pack dark of Saturday. It's not that something has to happen. A man writes a letter to himself and excludes the absolute: he is four seasons, paths in third-growth woods, nature that is endlessly familiar.
He is a silo: he stores, he feeds. No horsemen raging down the mountains flying banners, no vipers, just this and that that could be anywhere but happens to be here. The children grow up calm: they learn about psychotic tantrums like tornados. They plan. There is time, and more time and more time after that to learn to love the mild gifts – these apple trees, these sparrows – in this marriage with a woman who knows you, but will not kiss you back.
- From Midwestern Poetics by Charles Baxter