we hung shiny garland and christmas
on the cherry tree to keep the birds away. our neighbor
jarda watched and said, to je na hovno (that's for shit).
the only way to beat them is to shoot one and hang it
up, and even that only keeps the flocks away for a day,
if that. we strung it up anyway, decorations for a bird
cherry feast. we picked a
few kilos, too, to make a pie,
even though they're not quite ripe. jarda appeared
again, like a neighbor in a tv sitcom and said in czech,
you have to wait until they're
red, otherwise you'll get
sarah said cherries do
and they tasted pretty good even half-ripe--as attested
to by the birds and worms that were already digging in.
i asked when we'd go swimming. (he'd
to take us a couple days before but we couldn't.)
it was set for three o'clock. he would drive this
time to show us the way, after which we could
ride our bikes. it's only 5 km away between mostly
flat farm fields and through the village of Chotovice
old sand quarry filled with water--
a local swimming hole popular with old and young.
the bottom was firm and sandy but wildly uneven,
with a little underwater hill in the middle where you
can sit with your feet in the air and look all around.
finding the best swim spot in a new place is always a
homecoming for me--it's like remembering to breathe.