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Sep 2014
4107 by beth lindly


i have been born into a southern city twice,

once to parents that counted and once to those that didn’t.

twenty-one years and i haven’t ever sat all the way

through a game of football, or soccer, or anything

except gymnastics. southern life is the same as

gymnastics – you don’t have to know the rules to

know when someone messes up, when someone falls,

when someone scrapes the length of their fingers trying

to pull themselves up. there is a spillway by the house where i

grew up that wasn’t full this morning. when my father

drove us to school in the fall, through those blurry mornings,

i could see a small rhombus of sun shining on lake tuscaloosa but

it was only in the fall and only in those mornings. i am proud

to have noticed that rhombus. we lived in a different house

until i was five years old.  i had a sesame street comforter

and we didn’t have cable. all they ever taught me was the

cockroach on the wall does not exist if you can’t see it.

(or, at least, i haven’t seen that cockroach since then. who’s

to say.)


the death of fairies is something that has once made me sad.

i thought there were some behind my elementary school’s quarry

but they were just honeysuckle, and it was november when i went

back, anyway. there were never any fairies around my house.

i checked in the herb garden my mother grew in our front

yard, with all the mint and oregano that went into the soups she made.

my ex told me to stop calling it “my house” because the room

that saw me stay up past 2 a.m. to talk to him now sees my

sister write on the walls. but someone else wakes me up now and

my home can become whatever i need it to be.


i had a dream last week about my dog dying and i remembered

it over lunch with my parents with such a horrid suddenness that

i thought it had happened right then. “no, beth,” my father chuckled.

“millie hasn’t died.” “she’s doing just fine,” my mother agreed.

but she has, i thought, i saw it clear as anything.

my dog’s brain has been recently deteriorating, the pieces

taking with them her ability to hear. our family has taken to stomping

on the ground so she can feel the vibrations of come get your food,

come outside, just come here. i am proud that she can feel the vibrations

that call her home.


the fog that exists separating me from my dirt and blood has yet

to be predicted by james spann – a 70 percent chance that when i’m seventy

i won’t be able to remember how my backyard looked without the deck.

i am twenty-one and soon i won’t be and it will continue like that until

my memories have cateracted into a milky blur of greens and purples

when i was a child and maroons and blues when i thought i was an adult.

my hope is that i will start an herb garden and plunge my hands

in the warm earth and feel the vibrations that might call me home,

if they want to.
Written by
mg  where i am now.
(where i am now.)   
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