The call

Van Gogh
Van Gogh

The light above the boys at our kitchen table dims off and on again, twice, at the exact moment that their father would be driving home.

It’s after 8 now, and Casey should be here by now.

Night driving.

Night fears.

The wood.

The wood is what I think about.

If Casey is dead, someone needs to bring in the wood for the morning fire.
Then I need to sell the house. Immediately.

My body tenses in preparation. To insure my own safety.

Like when my junior high classmate’s afro caught on fire, and I dashed out of the science lab.

My oldest runs toward the injured, like on the highway, when the car ahead of us hit the snow bank and flipped into the air. I pulled our car as close as I could to the shoulder. And remained inside.

This morning when the practitioner moved her hands across my pelvis, I thought of the Mac truck, and how it crushed the car, and my grandmother, and my aunties, so that they had to be identified by their teeth.

Any moment now, Casey will walk through the front door, and we can go on with the play. The pretending that none of us will ever die. That this family is forever. That watching Netflix is the exact thing we want to be doing in this precious moment together with no promise of tomorrow.

15 minutes after 8 now.

8:20.
He’s home.

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wanting free

 Jim McCulloch, 2011, all rights reserved,
Jim McCulloch, 2011, all rights reserved,

Sometimes i miss me the me i used to be–
the energy around me when i was still so unsettled,
in turmoil, searching, free…

sometimes i travel back in a dream,
or a song,
or into my my own imaginings…
trying to hold onto something that kept me alive–
the excitement, the passion
the unknown
the possibilities

not that i don’t love my life now
but the youth of it is missing
the openings are closed

casey lets me go where i need to go
doesn’t try to hold me back
understands, or at least accepts, my crazy mind
and hopefully knows that my love for him
Is the fertile ground of my life’s blossoms

but sometimes, i just want to be the
 butterfly

(july 1998, 34 years old, mother of a three year old)

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