I'm submitting this for my poetry workshop; our prompt was to write a poem about a place. So many of my memories from childhood happened on a certain farm on State Route 55. I couldn't quite fit in all the people and experiences that have shaped me into one poem, but I hope this piece does justice to the sanctuary I found the farm to be. If a place could embody everything that makes the outline of my heart, it would be on this state route.
State Route 55 Flashbacks
Soft white down cradles two girls and their baby feet.
Starred, gauzy nights above virgin heads, and a
Soft voice reads, “Some pig.”
I’ve landed in this muck in brand new shoes and yet-
The pink snouts continue searching and I’m left in a puddle (quicksand)
Surrounded by blue sky and weathered, red barn siding.
Climbing a tree,
Brown arms protect me with green, flowing hair while
Whispers from a brown skinned boy below urge, “higher, higher!”
We are travelers in a jungle, out climbing the yellow beast.
A kitchen table,
Soft boards, hard surface. Years of quick slaps and beer ring stains.
A banquet for KFC and a sounding board for politics and prayer,
Withheld gestures and Taboo.
The dining room,
Loud laughter and making memories, Candles waver and grown men snicker while,
Babies run in hand-stitched, matching PJs
And photographs cement an entire life, complete generations.
What shapes your heart?