Friday, April 23, 2010

Highway 17

Driving on black bands of licorice
Morning commute.
I hate licorice.

Incessant pounding of bass
in my ears
I like it loud.

New light blinds me
as my window fogs.
I scan for bad drivers and
wolves in sheep clothing.

Arrogant - I refuse to slow,
Passing unfortunate victims.
Breaking laws.

Safe again, I reach my destination.
The sun moves behind me.
Rewind the day.
I hate repetition.

(Note: I wrote this years ago when I lived in Charleston, SC on a dare to perform for an open mic night.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Field Days

The summer before I received my driver’s license was spent, in part, at my best friend’s house in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. It was the last year that I road my bike as a valid form of transportation…the last hurrah to childhood trivialities.

She had horses and a vast fenced-in field. Too lazy for saddles and not wanting to risk losing more sunshine, we would hop on a horse bareback and head down to the front part of the pasture to cook in the sun. One morning, after an unsuccessful attempt to locate suntan oil, we resorted to Crisco cooking oil as a very poor substitute. Sunscreen or skin care was clearly not in our vocabulary and we were fortunate that we didn’t burn our skin in the pasture that day.

We tormented her goat, Frisky, by perching on top of his goat house. Giggling and whispering, the goat could hear us but never could find us until we leapt from our rooftop hiding place onto his back. Frisky was a clever goat and would tolerate his burden long enough to wade into the middle of his pond and deposit us into the muddy shallows.

Later that summer, we built a log cabin at the front corner of the property. It was a rickety structure created from old and weathered farm fence. The floor was brown earth and we built it four feet tall. We slept in it one night.

Returning home from church with her family on a bright summer afternoon, we discovered that someone had stolen the bus shelter from the bottom of the driveway! We had a hard time believing that someone had stolen the entire school bus shelter. A new one was constructed however she would only use it for a few months before the ability to drive a car replaced the need to ride the bus. The new shelter didn’t have the same character and all of the drawings and secrets that my friend had scratched into the inside walls were forever lost.

Five years ago I was in the area and drove by her old house, now owned by strangers. I saw the old log cabin in the corner of the field still standing despite all the years. Two years ago, my friend and I spent a weekend in Pennsylvania on a memory lane road trip and were sad to discover that all remains of our cabin had disappeared along with evidence of the horse pastures and fences. The “new” bus shelter stood watch at the end of the driveway looking lonely and neglected. It’s still hard to believe that my memories which seem so fresh in my mind happened all of those years ago and despite the overgrown fields, I can still picture two teenage girls riding together on a single horse on a lazy summer day.