Burning it Off
Is that all there is? Peggy Lee husked.
Is that all there is? Two good memories
of my father surface, kicking and thrashing.
Water that deep, yes. Still collects mud
and debris, though stagnant. I was seven?
Eight? Setting: a bandstand town by a river
preparing to flood. Beardstown a haven
for mosquitoes and gossip, but safe
enough for a child to skip from one end
to the other and back. Daddy worked
as an accountant for a mysterious “CIPS.”
In time, I learned it had something to do
with light and water. Everybody laughed
at Daddy, Mother told him. Odd Duck,
they dubbed him. For one, he exercised.
Walked to the office and back. Punched
a bag on the back porch. Good memory
one: he treated the wart on my knee,
only letting the acid burn one time.
He was gentle. He went slow. Explained
what the acid would do. It was the most I
had heard him talk. Other memory
is of running side-by-side to the track
out back of Beardstown High. Sometimes
he pulled back and let me win. I knew.
I didn’t care. I won. I WON.
Where my little brother was, who knew.
‘Bunny’ specialized in running away
to hide. Without knowing, I learned that
if I wanted to win, I had to play that game.
Running was a lesson learned too well.
What I wouldn’t give for the decades
spent running. Felt it felt great to sweat
it out. Sweat up a haze. A pee was bliss.
Always run a breeze in place to cool away
the burn of losing him. Losing others.
Losing, losing. . .no, I am winning. See?
See? Years when I ran with alcohol.
Like running with scissors to prove I
had grown. Sometimes hurled myself
pillar to post Sometimes ran by standing
stock still. As a post, yes. As a post.
Some of my runs won prizes. Degrees,
even accolades. Won a good husband.
Fantastic kids. Hey, they sometimes called
out. Wait for us! Don’t worry, I yelled.
Be back in a flash. They and others worked
to slowly slow my aching, pellmelling
feet and over-pumping heart. Still run --
read-read-read-write-write-write -- but running
is no longer the object it was. Sideline myself
to chat with Memory from time to time.
©) Phyllis Jean Green, September, 2005
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|Reviewed by Carole Mathys
|A trip down memory lane always brings a smile or a tear....how wonderful Pea...
peace and love, Carole
|Reviewed by Sandie Angel
|Wonderful memories. It is always good to remember them from time to time.
Sandie May Angel a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
|Reviewed by Nordette Adams
|Oh, Pea, you have an astoundingly unique voice. I enjoyed reading this compelling piece.
Years when I ran with alcohol.
Like running with scissors to prove I
Oh, great line there, but so many throughout with vivid imagery. Wonderful. ~~Nordette
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|enjoyed the read|
|Reviewed by Erin Kelly-Moen
|Sweet Jesus, Pea, you always do this to me, leave me aching, and numb...
To run, to have the space to run, does not mean winning. But, with you, and your emotion-riding readings, it means learning.
Thank you, Sweet Pea.
Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
|I'm pooped. Got my old heart a-running like a run-away colt. Whew! You need to lightening up on those amphatamines(sp). LOL Just kidding. Great stuff.|
|Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero
|It read like a race. I could feel the streem of thought rushing back and then forth and coming to a slow holt for its conclusion in the present. This is good writing, Pea!
|Reviewed by Ron (sketchman) Axelson
|Thanks for taking me back in time...
and stopping my way...and your nice
|Reviewed by White Dove left
|Great talent you have...
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
Those were the great ones...thanks for the memories. :)
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
|Reviewed by E T Waldron
|Excellent hearttouching prose Pea! Funny how we change , yet never forget...and memories still can spur us on to do things we probably never would have. Too sad that so many memories can be bad ones.
Bet you're in good shape for all the runnung!;-)
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|Thanks for a fine offering....I remember Patsy but not so sure about the rest!!
|Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater
|Great Flashback! 33 1/3 reminiscence. Peggy Lee, Connie Smith, Wanda Jackson, and PATSY CLINE! Thanks for spinning the turntable today, Phyllis. Brings me back to my own memories of those Sunday dinners of roast, potatoes, carrots and bay leaves prepared by my mother and listening to Peggy Lee and these others on the Hi-Fi! It is a good day to chat with memory. Thanks for the memories!
|Reviewed by Marcia Duning (Reader)