Hanson Page 2
    Outside, white buildings yellow in the sun.
    Outside, the birds circle continuously
    Where trees are actual and take no holiday.
    Ellen's sad and lost favorite poet Weldon Kees had written that, in The Last Man, the book I'd found at her New York apartment, when I flew back East to pack her things after the early morning phone call from her lover--
    "You're a teacher?" Glad asked. He sat in the wood chair he'd brought from his bedroom.
    Beulah nodded. "Uh-huh."
    "In Clarksville?"
    "Yes." Beulah put the last of her hamburger on the plate.
    "Very long?" Glad looked at her closely.
    "Twenty years--" She smiled, dabbing at her lips with the paper napkin. "I'm giving things away."

    How lovely and beautiful she was, beyond Blair and Bell's descriptions, beyond the praise of Viv Stone, the ex-Hollywood actress who'd stood beneath the flowering honey locust with her pet deer and the rescued black bear, Charlie.
    "Do you happen to remember a student named Jim Sloan?" Glad asked.
    "Yes. I had him and his sister. I liked Jimmy--"
    Beulah's brown eyes shone in the cabin's sunset light.
    "Smart boy, was he?"
    "You know Jim?" Beulah asked with surprise.
    "I've met him," Glad said. "Last night."
    "How is he?" she asked eagerly. "I haven't seen him in years."
    "He was a bit preoccupied when I met him," Glad said. "Pete Willis took me out to his ranch."
    Again Beulah smiled her pretty grin. "Jim was always preoccupied."