she got her hopes up high
and her heart sunk low
and without a map she had nowhere to go

she tiptoed on the edge
sure of every step
not realizing she had already leapt

The Photo Album

Time flies
faster than you’ll ever realize

how it leaves you behind
spinning around
trying to catch your breath

but you never do
until the moment has passed
and the weather has changed
the people have grown up
the friends have moved away

and as much as you say
you’re stuck in a rut
you want to go far away
you want to be somewhere new,
be someone different

don’t you know
that once the spinning slows
and the dust settles
and you catch your aging breath

you’re going to wish
you had stayed?

The White Pickup Truck

Down a back road lined with

soy beans and dried up corn stalks,

he said I’ll make a country girl outta you yet

and let me borrow his old, white pickup truck.

I watched the sun glint off an abandoned fishhook

between the dashboard and windshield.

What was just another Saturday for me

was his first day called up for battle,

fighting the front lines against

the mass in his chest. I felt the weight

of the heat suddenly, as if the dusty tint

of his addiction sealed the windows shut.

I rolled them down manually, the

thick air moved around me and

the stack of crushed maps

the pair of dry socks

the tackle box

smelled different. The country song

on the radio sounded too sad,

like not even whiskey could make things

better. I just wanted to make him

feel better, stronger, healthier.

So I followed that back road

to a main road onto Route 66

and drove until the fishhook

stopped glowing white,

the soot on the windows disappeared,

and the country music sounded happy.

In June, I became a country girl.