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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HMD

Last year, I took my mom to her hometown on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. That was probably the best day I’ve ever spent with her. (<<—Click the link to read more!) It was a relaxed sunny day. On the cool side. Not in a hurry. Able to talk and drive and eat and remember.

I took pictures. I listened to my mom’s stories. I asked questions.

I wish these country roads could take me home today. I wish I could fly home and see my mom, even for just a day. I miss you, Mom. I love you, Mom. Thank you for all the love that got me to here. Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Country Roads, Don’t Take Me Home

I spent my youth
Away from Home.
Wishing my friends
Were sisters of my own.

I didn’t like family.
Dangerous love.
Beat up and tortured,
Push comes to shove.

We lived in the country,
Away from town.
If there are no neighbors,
Does abuse make a sound?

My heart goes back
To that scary place.
And my throat gets tight
At memories I chase.

It wasn’t all bad.
I remember some good.
Days spent hiding,
Deep in the woods.

Green creek banks
And rich, black dirt.
Flowers and water
To wash away the hurt.

But no amount
Of River or Plain
Can wash away
That mountain of Pain.

So many nights
Unable to dream.
Flashbacks fire
And tears begin to stream.

Scars that shine
In the cracked moonlight.
Open them again
Without a fight.

In my mind, I walk
With shoe-less feet
To my childhood house,
Down that lonely street.

I reach the drive.
Kick the stones.
Look at the mess.
Hate my bones.

Turn around, get out.
Don’t look back.
This is your chance
To bury the black.

Run! Run down
To the end of the road.
Stop. Take a breath.
There’s time to go slow.

I walk through the night
Away from the past.
I can see the dawn
Coming up at last.

This isn’t a race.
There’s no finish line.
Each step is important.
This path is mine.