“Sit up, all the way up. Straight.” He poured medicine from a vial into the small cup, prepared the face mask, and pushed it toward me. “Deep breaths.”
The man should have known distance is already in her. / It moves her farther from them all, it has her / collapse on the bathroom floor heaving / obscenities into her faith and not feeling / the least bit guilt for each four-lettered cry.
Between her hospital room and home, there are miles / of darkness she must learn / to make light. She must understand again / this is not she. She is locked away in some distant cell / in some faraway prison in some remote city / she doesn’t know the name of, let alone / …
I am neither poet nor composer, but in writing this book, I have had to become both.
As I drove out to Kroger for my first few shifts, I was struck by the way the store’s building seemed totally enveloped by the surrounding mountains. Being from a relatively flat part of central Maryland how enormous they appeared, and how green, on the verge of autumn. They still impress me as my time here passes, but sometimes it’s like they’ve inexplicably receded as, almost daily, I drive up 460 and park in the designated employee lot and ignore them as I walk through the front doors.
Once the family had gathered at the beach, we all took stock of the tide, which rushed furiously past us, spitting foam. My uncle handed Papa a long wooden spoon for the ashes and together, they wobbled to the edge of the rock.
They called my mother. When she came to pick me up, her whole body was in a controlled rage. She spanked my butt on the way to the car as I cried and tried to explain that I didn’t do it on purpose. “It was just a game,” I told her. She told me never to play games around white children. I didn’t understand. It was just a game.
Karen J. Weyant thoughtful essay touches on the rural and urban divide: "City people was a code word that we all used for those who came up from Pittsburgh. These people simultaneously admired our beautiful wildlife in northern Pennsylvania yet wondered out loud how 'anyone could possibly live like this,' in reference to our small towns with single stoplights, two or three gas stations, and no fast food restaurants or malls. "