Grass on an Electric Fence

When I was a boy I would hunt with my brother in the woods behind our house.  Sometimes when you shot a buck he’d take off sprinting and leaping through the trees, cross the creek and even hop the fence into Doc Palmer’s field.  There we would find him on his side with a plug of hair removed and a faint spot of blood just behind his front shoulder.  Together we’d drag his heavy, lifeless body across the field to the electric fence that kept Doc Palmer’s cattle from entering the pine forest behind our house.  Each time we reached the fence I’d watch my brother select a long flat blade of grass and touch it to the fence to check for current.  Once he wanted me to feel the electricity running through the fence so he handed me the blade of grass and I laid it across the thin gray wire.  There was a gentle pulsation that surged through the grass and into my fingertips.  That memory came back to me while I held my mother’s hand at his funeral.  From the inside of her soft wrist pressed against the inside of mine, I could feel the steady pulse of her heart and it reminded me of grass on an electric fence.


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