East Colorado: parched, late Summer. Storms hold back rain, rush East— beyond the hundredth meridian. I might be dead. I hitched through Chivington—home of the massacre. A chill went through me, I felt or heard drums, stumbled into Kansas, and the King of all wrecking yards— a square mile of true Kansas dome—cars in pastel rank. On its side a faded van said “Bunny Bread.”
It was complete—not stripped for parts, in tall grass by the fence line—scritch of windmill pumping ghost water from the plains—safe for the night.
How long have I been here? There’s a lump in back beneath floor-mats that is shrinking. I think it’s me. What I did before wasn’t living. This is better. I’m now a company of distant parts: heat-lightning, trill of red-wing, squawk of magpie, rustle of sage. The wind goes through me, or, I make of myself a sail. I can drift for miles this way— then snap back fast—in the crick of a cricket.
I’d been hitching toward home, or thought of home when I felt it.The day was warm as a virgin bride. A chill, and, though it was miles away, rasp of cars on the interstate cut through me. I moved toward the van and the wise-cracking rabbit. One thing is certain. I dream, so, in some strange way, I am.
In the cool of day, friends, lost for years, come ’round. I can’t see them yet. They signal—bend a flower, stir some pollen to show they’re here. What I want to say is don’t worry. Soon enough, you’ll be clear. What you do doesn’t matter. When a car no longer runs, it becomes art. You too. Everything rests. Indians pull memory fish from the creek. Pony Soldiers stand down.
-- Steve Trebellas is a substitute teacher living in Burlington Iowa, a river town in S.E. Iowa. He has lived in the Midwest all of his life and writes about topics relating to small town and rural living. He has an MFA from SIUC in Carbondale, Illinois, and much earlier was able to take a class with Alan Ginsberg at the Naropa Institute. He has a number of journal publications and is looking for a first book.