c a m e r o n    p i e r c e

You Will Find Your Way

 

Four bowls full of arrowheads in skim milk sit at their made places on the kitchen table. A bearskin rug lies beneath the table. The bearís head is mounted on the wall behind the fatherís spot. The father will never eat his bowl of arrowheads or sit at the table again because the father is dead, but someday he will return anyway and heíll do those things. Heíll sit and eat. Heíll sit and eat. Day after day heíll sit and eat. On opposite walls behind the chairs where the son and daughter would sit hang fleshed hogs, still rotting despite the years theyíve spent rotting. The son and the daughter will not be returning. They are alive, however. I know this for I am the mother and I view them through my crystal ball. And even though they wonít return I know in my heart of hearts that someday theyíll return. I set and clear the table every day. I do this because I am afraid and I want my family to return. When night comes down I feel lonely. Music dies on the bearskin rug. Gifted gifted gifted were my children. My husband was sleepless and solemn. Someday theyíll all return. Weíll sit down for a breakfast of obsidian arrowheads in healthy skim milk. Afterward, weíll watch cartoons. The pope might die that day. It seems the pope is always dying when we sit down on the couch to watch cartoons. Scooby Doo was my daughterís favorite, Johnny Quest my sonís. I have trouble recalling the good times we spent together, but I remember the lullaby we sang to Grandma, before she vanished in the mines. Please donít grow sick and die. Please donít grow old and die. A million miles from here, you will find your way. These days I sing it to myself all the time because I miss my husband, I miss my kids, I miss my mom. Someday theyíll all return. Until then Iíll slave over meals that wonít be touched. Iíll be a brave soldier on the battlefield of loneliness. Iíll sing myself little songs. Iíll be afraid, but not for long.

 

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CAMERON PIERCE lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of seven books, including the Wonderland Book Award-winning collection Lost in Cat Brain Land. His work has been published in The Nervous Breakdown, Word Riot, Kill Author, The Barcelona Review, and other publications. He is also the editor of Lazy Fascist Press.


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