Friday, July 5, 2013

Clatskanie

All she knew was that this place came with a mill
and logs, steady work, and a little white house.
Far away from familiar-and-binding ties,
she bundled baby Emma and followed
her husband to another fresh start.

At twenty-two, she was still more afraid of the dark
than the daylight. The mill, with its weekly paychecks,
let her pretend the cold corners of the little white house
were all her fault and not due to his shrugging and grunting,
his preference for the perfumed little thing
at the bar after work.

Still, she prayed for him at the other little white house
in the tiny mill-town. She forced herself to give thanks
for the mill and sang hymns at the top of her lungs
and taught little Emma how to choke down tears
by the grace of God.

Between nursery rhymes and Amazing Grace,
the green in her eyes turned steadily jade,
and the deeper the color, the more she could see
the deep inside of things; all the darkest shadows
of brightest daylight.

A U-haul truck is hard to pack when your only help
is a toddler with questions, but she managed
to scrape-up enough humility to return
to the familiar-and-binding ties with everyone intact –
Emma, the cats, and the still secret beauty
of one last try.



Full of Crow Poetry - July 2013

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