They all say they will find
a way to leave Mesquite Bend,
especially the sophomores huddled
in the dark parking lot behind the DQ
in the last hours of a Friday night.
But no one ever leaves the memories
of windy, summer days when the sand
slashed a gritty taste in the mouth,
touch football stirring up dirt where clumps
of tenacious grass strove to grow.
And what about cool evenings in Fall
when a full moon perched above
the high school gym so that students
snaked to the roof like ants,
achieving stardom with an imaginary touch?
Those who stay are said to have cotton
in the blood, but they know the call
of a coyote on a winter’s night
and the promise in the hawk’s flight
of lazy circles above a field full
of grain. Only they know
the mystery in a ’57 Chevy propped
on cinder blocks, a 20-foot mascot
statued in front of a tire store,
and the glow of campfires,
the only light for miles of flat plain
in every direction.
April 9, 2015