My teeth wail with each step
As I walk around the yard,
Head tilted slightly aback,
Sandals muddied from recent rains.
Everything burns but nothing
Turns to ash, no smoke to be seen
Aside from the cigarette hanging
Drolly from my mother’s mouth.
I sweat the time from my body,
Rising one morning to head
To the city where I am to find out
What it means to work.
While I am gone, something happens,
But I am unaware in my
Christmas-lit patio drinking beer
That I’d rather not be consuming.
We make notes and play games,
Anything to excuse us from time
In the yard, where the sun is king
And he barters not.
I sweat more time from my body,
And then pack myself into
A van with cologne on the dash,
Myself against the gear shift.
Bumpy rides, trips to single homes
In vast nothingness next to
What I believe to be a salt pond,
But with nothing to prove it.
I return home, everyone asleep,
Business as usual in this house,
But I notice there is a body missing
And no one is talking.
The next day a strange man visits,
Entering only the foyer, no further,
Talking something about money
Before retuning to silence.
Steps are taken lightly as I cross
The threshold outside,
My mother sobbing into her hands,
Bitter tears of unknown origin.
I sweat yet more time from my body,
The pain in my teeth still felt
With every step I take on the earth,
Soon no strings to lift my limbs.
Author’s Note: It’s always interesting to leave and then return to a place, even if for a short bit. I imagine I’ll have to write another poem for when I return to my training site next summer. Much time will have been sweat from my body by then.