WHERE DO YOU GO?
Raising a shroud of dust in the dirt driveway,
relatives drove over soon as they heard:
Mary Ann, the one they nicknamed Maysie, thrown
from the back of a colliding motorcycle. Snapped
necklace of her nineteen-year-old bones.
But John, her father, wanted nothing of the praying
and cursing, air humid with tears, in that farmhouse.
He walked across the yard toward the woods, where
a June sunset blistered orange and red
as bittersweet in autumn. He said, to no one,
he’d stumbled upon enough winter-starved deer,
his share of chickens snuffed by heat, rat, fox.
Said nothing brings a body back. Cry all you like,
his face scrunched as a wrinkled handkerchief.
As I stood on the lawn, a twelve-year-old boy,
seeing my cousin on the motorcycle, clinging
to her boyfriend, brown hair blowing out of control,
I heard the farmhouse, where my parents stayed,
wailing like the siren of a nearing ambulance
going nowhere, and John, who slowly withdrew
into a curtain of white pines, repeating, I’d rather walk.
I did not want to enter either world.
—from Rattle #34, Winter 2010
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