"His dreams of proud city women, new cars, and tailored suits, were mingled with the muddy irrigation water soaking into the roots of the green beans and the summer squash..."
In the summer fields west of Sacramento, spirits are dancing in the dust devils. When the wind pauses, you can hear the metal on soil sound of hoes cleaving earth. Sometimes, when you don'tt expect it, you can hear the whisper of names: Tamayo, Cleto, Victor, Passio.
They found Passio lying between the rich green rows as still as the empty lettuce crates. If you had looked, you would have seen his dreams reaching up through the ground. They were reaching toward the faces of his father and his mother. They were trying to touch the face of a long ago lover and a wife. If you had listened, you would have heard the sound of his dreams running over the plowed furrows. They were running for the joy of running. They were running to far away bamboo groves, and cane fields, toward the sound of nocturnal guitars.
They found Passio lying as quietly as his hickory-handled hoe. His dreams of proud city women, new cars, and tailored suits, were mingled with the muddy irrigation water soaking into the roots of the green beans and the summer squash, into the dark mouths of gopher holes.
They found Passio with his dreams watering another man's soil. He was as brittle as thirty-year old wood. When they lifted him, he was as light as ashes; lightened by the departure of his dreams.
In the dark spaces between Isleton and Lok, there are spirits who flutter the pear tree leaves and ruffle the river's surface. They brush the lost faces of sleeping men with the sound of mandolins and are borne away by the night's breath. When they have scattered, if you listen, you can hear the sound of names: Gregorio, Jacinto, Tomas, Passio.
Geronimo Tagatac's father was from the northwestern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte. His mother was a Russian Jew and his Stepmother is a Cajun from Happy Jack, Louisiana. Geronimo published short fiction in the Writer's Forum, The Northwest Review, The River Oak Review, MoonRabbit Review, and Orion. He lives and writes in Salem, Oregon.