I would have told Lena about the fire I saw in Iowa, but it is regret that writes this, that longs for things unsaid.
This fire would have amazed her. The heat was so incredibly hot it reminded me of something I learned in physics: the fact that the air around a lightning bold is hotter than the surface of the sun. It was a barn burning–not with any political or racial overtones, but a necessary burn of an old wooden grain bin in the center of town in Whiting, Iowa, where I grew up. She was a Baltimore-grown city girl who wouldn’t be able to imagine this story of the burning though I suppose it’s a common enough event in rural parts of our country.
–Mary L. Tabor