Hay and Gasoline

Hay.
Gasoline.
Sweet hay.
Gas.
Blood.
Blood in my mouth. Did I fall?

I’m lying in the still-long blades of dry, yellow grass. The motor is running. I can only see the tops of red baseball caps. I hear muffled bellowing.

Someone’s holding my hand. Sun is white. Sweat forms just above my brow. Rolls down. Meets my tears. Down my temple/upper cheekbone. Pooled in the cradle of my outer ear. Can’t move. Can’t see anything but sky. Can’t hear very well. Because of the grass? Or something worse?

The silhouette of my father’s face, grimaced and gray, leans. Zooms. I’m veiled by his plaid work shirt now. His overall strap buckle lightly pressing against the bridge of my nose. His huge gloved hands lift me quickly from the ground. I’m laid on the pickup bed’s tailgate. Next to the leaning batches of barn-bound, recently-bailed hay.

I like the attention. But I’m scared. Only because every pair of eyes I meet are scuffling with fear.

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