by Erin Cole
Where the breeze infuses with dirt and hay is a place where my blood runs thickest, pooling with truths that force me to face myself. I wade in distant memories, under that hot, vacant sky where the smell of my dreams burning taught me to fake a smile, bury my trust, for life was going to be no fairy tale. In the brush by the creek, I look for the child who found happiness in crawdads and water skippers, who climbed old maples to rise above uncertainty and confided disappointment to fuzzy ears awaiting crops in her hand. In the shed I discovered the chains of love, the dull tools of resentment, and would sit on the tractor sharpening my ambitions so that one day I could cut through expectations and hook a wish. At night, the stars shimmer like hope in my mind, the crickets gossip about mistakes made, a screen door still slaps with the bustle of growing feet, and tomorrow feels like a lifetime away. I cannot separate who I was from who I am; I cannot lie to who I will become, and though I always anticipate the salvation of my four wheels, I never stop relishing in those days, that place where I once called home.
Erin Cole is a writer striving to capture the magic of life in her novels, short stories, and essays. She lives in Portland and is currently working on her second novel.