Friday, November 11, 2016

Choctaw Road

I.

Yesterday, I drove my daughter out west on Choctaw Road
just to show her the country mile I came from.

I wanted her to see the sunset that has sustained me -
the scissortails on the telephone wires,

the ponds her Papa wrestled from the red dirt,
the back porch where her Grannie churned ice cream.

I wanted her to see the little blue house
where my Mama loved my Daddy

and they both loved me.
But I barely recognized the ruined

orchard, crowded out by a double wide,
the prize winning pear tree, gaunt as a graveyard gothic,

or the cottonwood where all us cousins had carved our initials -
now, lightning split and leaning,

with our scratches burned away.

II.

I didn't know what to say to my little girl
to bridge the awful before and after.

What could I do but try to pick
a flower from the wild, weedy overgrowth of my history,

talk it real to her as it is to me?
What could I do but reach

back as far as I could reach to where the old stories sleep
unrusted and shiny as a night's first firefly?

What could I do but try
to trap one in a Mason jar and spill it

into the tender cup of her hands?

A very rough draft for Fireblossom Friday.

11 comments:

vanilla sky said...

My goodness, MZ. This is beautiful ... particularly toward the end.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is an exceptional piece, with the nostalgia decomposed and recomposed.. very touching and authentic.

hedgewitch said...

There is so much loss and letting go in this life (and this poem) and now it seems, so much fear of what we actually may be passing on--I hope whatever poison and death it contains also has fireflies and wildflowers...surely it must.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness, MZ, one of your very finest. I felt it right to my toes, and I wanted to hear all those stories, of that kinder, gentler time.

gillena cox said...

One of my favourites for sure. Awesome write

Much love...

Fireblossom said...

It only seems possible to convey such things to a degree and the rest is yours alone. Another reason life is so bittersweet.

grapeling said...

so vivid, MZ, and sad ~

Susie Clevenger said...

It is tough to go home and find home no longer has the bones it once had. Even if it had been pristine it would be your words, stories, and heart that would have given it meaning for your daughter.

angieinspired said...

you can never go home. write about it:) thanks

J Cosmo Newbery said...

That is really quite lovely and, in my present frame of mind, tearful.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Beautiful and tragic. I loved this.