dark green blades

When I was a little girl I loved summertime
Laying in the soft blades
of grass in the shade below the giant oak
peddling along as my bejeweled bicycle spokes rattled, the sun
beaming down on my skin turning me red
then tan until it set, leaving the outside dark

I stayed inside when it was dark
My big brothers knew I was afraid and tried to scare me anytime
they could. Whenever they tricked me, my face would burn red
One day my friend taught me how to make a bracelet out of blades
of grass, we braided strands together under the beating sun
near the giant oak

I liked to climb the oak
I would jump and snatch the lowest branch to pull myself up, feet stained dark
with mud dangling below. I liked to read up there, where only patches of sun
made it through the leaves. With a book I felt like time
stood still, until I jumped down to roll in the cushioning blades
of grass when the sky started turning orange and red

After it rained one day my Dad brought the red
mower out of the shed and maneuvered it across the yard—around the giant oak
I made a game out of jumping on the back, above the blades
and watching as they spewed out freshly cut, dark
green grass. I don’t think he knew I was back there this time
he didn’t tell me to get down. I closed my eyes and lifted my head to the sun

Dad stopped and went into the shed, so I laid down in the sun
I didn’t hear him sit back down. He started backing up and bright red
blood began to spew out, in place of dark green grass this time
I thought maybe my brothers sharpened sticks from the woods to poke
me with again. I started to scream until the dark
came. Dad jumped off and flipped over the mower, freeing me from the blades

My leg was gaping open, oh how those blades
could slice! Dad rushed me inside to the bathtub, out of the sun
I watched as the water tried to wash white the dark
basin, my gash squirting it full of my sticky red
blood. I reached out my finger out to poke
at my shredded muscles while my parents wasted time

screaming at each other. I pictured the blades hacking me up, turning me red
I twitched away the dark and watched myself leaking, afraid to poke
It again. The sun set and I cried, not sure they could they fix me this time

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