Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Letter to My Home Concerning My Home

Dear Little Forgotten Anna,

I was conceived on a hot, star filled night in the grass and the dirt on the edge of some backwoods bayou in the steam cooker of a state I would later learn to call my home. I was born out of the murky sludge that rages beneath our bridges and bends around our toe. I learned to crawl in the sand that wandered up my way every here and there. I was raised on a diet that was stalked, caught, fried, and fried. And, even though at times I want no part of the part of me that would never depart, I always come back, with my jeans tucked in my boots and my sleeves rolled down against the hawk’s prey.

Although I never pray. Even though most do down here, or up here for them that are down further than what would appear, to you, to be the bottom.

I always come back, where the rain back slides and slides down, and causes slides. Where the cups runneth over, over and over again. Where there is plenty for plenty and plenty come for it. Where there are rich and there are poor, but everybody sweats on a hot day. Because there is heat, my friends and travelers. Oh, how there is heat. Heat that boils the air you breath and smears the skin on your face when you fight the trees. Or fight the vines. Or fight the grass. Or fight all between, above, and below.

And you will fight, brothers and sisters. When you decide that you’re here, and that you will be here, you will fight. Because everybody fights from calf to heel. You don’t clear, you fight. You don’t plant, you fight. You don’t dig, you fight. Our home defends itself well. And when the red clay runs in your sweat down the splintered handle of your shovel, you’ll know what it is to bleed from battle.

But, I always come back, even though I never leave. My mind leaves. Not that the leaves mind, on the days when the wind coaxes the trees out to sing. My mind leaves to where I’ve been before and after this. Going where the water sparkles in sterile virginity. Where the fields don’t devour you as you break their stalks. Where mother nature accepts us for who we are. Where we aren't driven from the place we love by the place we love.

But that’s not here is it? I don’t know where that is. Maybe I don’t want to know. This womb is hot, and wet, and when the levee breaks, I cry, just to breath. Knee deep in a constant, pointless baptism that washes away my sin with mud and filth. Surrounded by wood sprouted up from the knee deep, grown into a confessional, forgotten when time for forgiveness. Cold from a lack of compassion, and judgment.

Oh, and it does also get cold. Cold in the morning, cold in the night. Cold that freezes that life giving vapor right in our breath, only to have it carried back through our shirts, and into our bones. 'Cause the time don't pass here as it should, and when it's not froze, it's just frozen. Frozen solid over everything that wasn't here before, and then everything that was. Frozen into a wall so bitter and rigid as if to keep him by name The Devil at bay, while we try to keep the children warm under Her cotton.

But, the Devil eventually gives up, or maybe just hides, and the bitter clear wall around us subsides. And, we all venture out into the sun, or the moon. Poke out through our tiny holes by the river and start to croak at the still air. Croak for croak, to see who survived the hibernum. To see who gets to go fishing again, and who gets to go drinking instead.

Oh and there is drinking. Drinking 'till the faces match the mudbugs in the pot on a day when the wind visits from up north or down south, and brings us the gift of fulfilled dreams. The dreams aren't big down here much, 'cause the dreamers know better, and no better. They just want the breeze to blow the grill smoke their way to taste, and then blow it away again, so they can remember it.

She's in my blood. I've been with others, but nothing compared to the amount I've stepped on her feet. Kissed her neck. Or, left her crying on the steps, but always shuffled back the next morning. I can't ever leave, you see. She's got a piece of my soul. Up canned in a mason jar, lost in her attic, cause she can't lose it in her cellar. And, she doesn't look for it, 'cause she don't want it found. She just wants me turned, and homeward bound.

She doesn't talk much. Sleeps during the day, and at night, when there's a wake, she's just rowdy. But I can't blame her. Nowadays she's too lonely to hate. Abused and forgotten not just yesterday, and now the man comes crawling back. Brings her flowers, tells her how pretty she is. Ain't no ring but she guess's it will do. I see her for what she is. The sad eyed lady of the lowlife. And, the lowlands too, if you prefer. She can be both. At times she is.

And, frankly, some of us aren't impressed by his flowers. We don't want him in our kitchen. We'd rather see the house an inferno before he decides to leave his boots outside the door. This is my home. It's old, and it's bad, and it's rotten with crawling and gnawing. But, that never made no matter did it?

Come on, Mama. Forget this man. Let's go steal some gasoline.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
we'll build a fire an' light a match and watch the whole thing burn

No comments: