A sandy road runs along the rim of the high plains.
Its ruts lead to my grandmother’s Calvinist
clapboard house, painted sunflower yellow,
its glad hand extended to every stranger.
My father was a stubborn man who married young
My mother was Irish, addicted to suffering.
The wind blew them together and to destiny,
their pockets lined with dust and hope.
Father took us to a Saturday town
in a wagon pulled by mismatched horses.
I ran behind to prove myself
and to pick wild plums in the fence rows.
I admired socialists, hard working
Anarchists, Green Corn Rebels
and my drunken Irish grandfather
who was all three, and more.
I married often and hurriedly,
took ample time to repent,
but never found a man who suited me.
Don’t ask what I mean by that.
I traveled far and wide on the margins
of the mainstream, through smoky cities
and dark forests but could find no better place
to stand than that sandy road.
My life is stained by wild plums.