Sunday, April 12, 2020

Ellen Hopkins - Country Kids Exist On their Own Planet

Country Kids Exist On their Own Planet 

Incredible amenities there: cumulus ships 
afloat in a bold azure sea; dirt, pulverized 
by oversized tires, silk between the toes; 

pond fishing, bullfrog stalking, crawdad 
tug-of-war; the green perfume of alfalfa, 
fresh from the mow; brilliant cockcrow 

alarms, quiescent cricket lullabies. 
Growing up a city kid, seasonally 
countrified, such wonders captivated. 

Come evening, Daddy would saddle a trio 
of stout ranch ponies, colorful rocking 
horses, two paints and a palomino. 

Mama so loved the sunset, Heaven’s 
invitation, magenta fire over the vineyards, 
slowly cooling to soft rose embers. 

Astride his golden charger, puffing 
a fine cigar, Daddy drank up youth 
in the dusk. Years fell away, autumn sequins. 

We’d climb into Daddy’s Way Back Machine, 
whisking back before jets made the planet 
too small and pavement made it too fast. 

I understood the world then, he’d say, 
when a man’s word meant everything. 
Sentiment carved in the marble of time. 

Now, when deep of night straightjackets 
me, denying dreams’ sweet release, 
I loose memory’s magic carpet to fly 

between cumulus ships, over summer 
alfalfa and autumn vines to the back of a paint 
rocking horse, and a planet where I belonged. 

© Ellen Hopkins. All rights reserved.

Sheesh. The way Ellen Hopkins strings together words and images always gives me a case of the gasps or ahhhhs or both. And a Way Back Machine!!! Imagine that now... or truly, any time in our past. A wonderful idea, indeed.

For more wonderful words... across a range of issues, at that... you really oughta check out Ellen's books for yourself of for folks you know for whom they'll resonate deeply....

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