I’m gonna climb a tree, break off every branch on the way. Guarantee myself this time I’ll be free. The garden was dead, except that last rose, I pulled the thorns off and lay them on the sidewalk so you could see the path, find me stranded. Our escape from the past. Your bare feet, so gingerly, avoiding the thorns pricks along the way. Save the sky, the view is perfect. From this treetop I can see all I need. I need you and the clouds. I need the moon when the sun goes down. I need safety from all the onlookers who’ll never understand.
Girl, why you gotta try so hard, when people don’t care who you are. Boy, why you gotta be yourself, when everyone wants you to be someone else. Kid, don’t grow up so fast, these schoolyard moments never last. Dad, I heard your call from across the hall, said you wanted me to stay strong, For your mother, he said. Nothing is forever.
Crying in the woodland sprawl,
there’s no time for me
to watch you die Mom-Maw.
Your frame so small, your skeletal jaw,
It was easier to get drunk instead,
Face mortality, face death,
give up on my illusion of childhood.
While you sold the air your last breath.
I remember standing at your grave
and why I chose to hideaway.
Face my end, with college ahead.
I miss you now, but couldn’t face you then.
What love do we concede, when another soul is set free?
The indifferent black mass spreading through your bones relentlessly.
I know you’re in a better place,
a place where you can’t see us grieve.
This growing pain, the birth of the unkown,
this granite stone, in the freshly dug earth
next to your husband who died so long ago.
You can finally be together Mom-Maw.
Clearing the channel, another one’s on their way.
Pulled up in my new ride, different from the one yesterday.
I’m happy to oblige, I cant hide out in the garage
there too much scenery to partake.
The sweet chassis, the chrome, the wheels
Sidewalks, chasing long legs, tall tales, high heels.
Sell me more then my book value worth.
New models off the assembly line,
to the highway, cars in motion, back and forth.
I’m fine, the blacktop flying by.
Another car salesman lie,
Pedal to the floor, open road, forever sky.
As long as there’s gas,
this won’t be my last ride.
Longest arc, I felt the slope first go downhill into some faraway land.
The streets seemed to go on forever, existence into memories.
Pale under the dark cover of night, bedtime stories, dormitories, this terrified boy now a man. I still feel it, aching in my bones.
The love for sowing oats and no concern to return home.
I traded you, handed you around, let you off at the corner. Tossed the street urchins change and moved on.
Food carts, wrappers and cigarettes.
Simple child, simpler expectations, no regrets.
Fleeting chill in the air, easing my bones,
giving me back my childhood
and another night of rest.