Volume 43 ~ 2021
        

McCartney Elliott

 
 
 
 

Orange Popsicle

 

The sun beams bright on the child with fair skin,

as a drip of orange popsicle lands on her shoeless foot.

Startled from the cold, she awakens from her daydream

and quickly notices she is sitting alone.

Her friends who were showing off their new fairy wings 

were suddenly gone, as if they were never there.

She giggled, realizing they must just be playing a game.

Hide’ n’ seek, she thought.

But after five lonely minutes of seeking,

she returned to the puddle of orange mess. 

She missed her friends. 

The only friends she had,

and everyday they visited for less and less time.

Until eventually they won't visit anymore.

Her head slowly fell into her hands, 

as hot tears rolled down her face and into her palms.

That day the sun watched a little girl grow up.

As she said goodbye to her childhood friends.
 

eighteen

     The pickup dinged as I turned the key to start it. “What the hell,” I yelled as I threw my wallet on my passenger seat. I wish someone could explain to me why I can go to war and fight for my country, but I can’t buy a damn cigarette. It’s been 28 days since my 18th birthday and every single one of those days, I have had this same conversation with myself. I furiously sped out of the parking lot. 

     She was outside watering her flowers so I didn’t bother getting my phone to text her. “Hey baby,” I said as I rolled my window down. She smiled and walked over. “You can’t be here Rowan, you know my dad is home this week,” she said in a panicked voice. “I don’t see his car,” I replied. She rolled her eyes and said, “He is at the shop, he will be here any minute.” “Well, Let’s go then,” I whispered in her ear as I gave her a kiss on the cheek.

     We headed to our spot to escape the world, something we are doing more and more as the years go by. The words of John Lennon coming from the speaker of my rust bucket of a truck filled the silence as we both felt the warmth of the sun through the open windows. I looked over to my left every so often to see her. Her eyes closed but she knew I was looking because I could see her smile slowly grow. The smile I fell in love with. 

     After the 15 minute drive, we arrived at our spot. She grabbed my hand and I held on tight. I was never going to let go of her. Before we even got to the tree trunk, she blurted out, “We need to talk.” I knew what was coming. A talk we have been dreading since the day we started dating. We knew we were going different places in life, but we always hoped it would change. Maybe, just maybe we would end up at the same college where I can play baseball and she can get scholarships for what her family can’t afford. We stared into each other's eyes, knowing what the other was thinking. I squeezed her hand three times and with tears slowly flowing out of her eyes she smiled.
 

Two Way Mirror

 

I see a girl who has big thighs,

with brush strokes painting her imperfections.

Her face; red and splattered with mud.

 

She has lips like a dry desert.

And when she smiles, 

her yellow fangs scares everyone.

 

Her eyes surrounded by bags

She looks like a monster 

She grabs her stomach and cries

 

She is truly ugly.

---

I see a girl with smooth curves.

With marks that show her growth. 

Her face; full of love and freckles.

 

She has a smile that lights up the room.

And her eyes, like emeralds, sparkle in the light.

Her eyelashes flutter when she blinks.

 

Her long hair flows gracefully like wings.

She looks like an angel.

She twirls in the mirror and giggles.

 

She is truly beautiful.

Family Tree

     I sat on the front porch in misery with my dogs and the birds while my forehead slowly filled with sweat, occasionally dripping into my eyes. My body is covered in sore bumps and red patches from the harshness of mother nature this time of year. The humid air grabbed the screen door and it flew open, slamming it against the worn grey siding. I heard my little brother watching tv. The words to the theme song of the Flintstones quietly hummed from the living room. “It’s so damn hot,” my mother said in a low, raspy voice as she slowly dragged herself out the door. We sat on opposite ends of the porch with the golden retrievers separating us. “Want to work on the garden?” I asked, interrupting the locusts. She didn’t respond. She continued to stare at the blanket she was making for the church raffle. After the accident, all she did was knit. When she felt like crying, she knit. 

     The flag waved on the pole in front of me while the sun grew tired, casting a shadow of a flame throughout the lawn. I thought about the days where we would spend the evenings watching movies in the front yard, eating popcorn and ice cream for dinner. Laughing at the funny chocolate mustache my Papa would draw on me and my brother. I missed him. The dogs on the porch stretched and moved into the shade where a canopy of leaves protected them from the brutal sun. I followed hoping it would work better than my SPF 50. “Hello,” the tree said as I was finding a place to sit down. Startled, I tripped on my own feet, landing on my hands and scraping my knees. The tree laughed and said, “Still haven’t learned to use your feet?” Wiping the dirt from the fresh cuts in my knees I look up at the bark and see two familiar eyes that match the voice. “Hi, Papa,” I say as a smile takes over my face.