this world, and no other…

by tobias crabtree

i haven’t lost hope.

this sky overhead is grey and raining. the goats are in the barn.

in my time, i have seen things fall  from my vision. essentially, go away.

death is a fact.

here is a list of things i’ve seen go away. it’s not complete, it’s only a list.

–my youth

–the keys to my truck

–my truck



–christian and joe and j.p. palmer and craig white…all dear ones. all friends. all long gone.

–peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, by the dozens


–pounds and pounds of dark, oily coffee beans



as you can see, i have lost things. some things aren’t gone forever, some are. when i leave the presence of someone i love, i try to remember that i may never see them again. it’s possible. we are transient in this world. even the stones are transient; waiting to be crushed by some future glacier or burned by some dying sun.

but last night, here at the farm, the goats gave birth. when the stars were hanging so perfectly in there sockets and the grass was waiting on the moon and the geese were honking invisible overhead, the goats gave birth. they came out of their mothers and they breathed the same air i breathe. the lettuce in the greenhouse is breathing the breath of the goats. the present is happening.

i looked in at the two mothers and i watched them look at the babies. they looked at their others. i picked up the cinnamon colored goat and held all her wonder in two arms. there was something so basic and tragic in her cry. even through the heaviness of the sunday paper, i found solace in her brow. when i put her back on the ground to the cooings of her mother, i still felt sad that i might be putting her out. she had been comfortable in the warmth of my torso…so, like a mother, i worried for her as she clip-clopped into the cold.

i don’t know why, but i think we are gonna be alright. maybe we should all pick up a baby goat or two.

maybe we should breathe in and out.

we can be so good if we try.

i think we might ought’a try.