382 miles away

I drove back

382 miles and

39 years

To what’s no longer a home

Searching for something.


I killed him years ago,

But we have unfinished business.

The shovel is so cold to the touch;

Sad to think that such a thing

Puts one in the ground

and

Can dig one back up again.


He lay their 39 years just outside my bedroom window

When I was a child, and I killed him.

It is dark now, rural dark, not like you New York City folks,

So dark that only the demon eyes of your childhood stare back at you.


I trace my steps, though much bigger and slower now;

no less scared, maybe more,

to 10 ½ feet just outside the willow tree.


She’s still standing, towering over it, like his anger

That drove him in it.

I hesitate looking around at what was my identity

That no longer belongs to me, and I think that if I get …

Let me just dig a little first, I will fit nicely …


I dig in slow motion unconcerned about waking those sleeping

Unconcerned about waking him.

It is too dark to see, but I feel myself sinking

Sinking deeper into the clay-laden earth of Western New York.


I think, though numb, will some skin still be there?

Will the head I so often touched be unrecognizable to me?

Will there be his coat of tan and black and grey?

I panic, as the soil moans and the shovel screams less discrete;

She’s warm to the touch and is caressing something,

Maybe bones.


There is a flash and a bang from up above.

I recognized it once as my father’s window, right next to mine

Followed by the bathroom.

I felt a pulsating shock roar through my chest and something warm

Ooze all over me; then I heard another

Blowing my leg out from under me, and another

Killing the shovel this time.


I dropped in his grave.

The score is even now.

I was guilty when six, maybe seven,

When I rode over his paw with my Tonka truck.

He wanted to kill me but didn’t.


A week later my dad killed him with three shots

Just out of the window over there.

He attacked my dad, you see, because I made him angry when I rolled my truck

Over his paw.


I am 382 miles from home now.

Can you take me back to my daughter and son?


written by Earl Yarington @2019 all rights reserved

Published by EarlY

I have a PhD in literature and criticism and have taught literature, technical, and research writing for over 16 years. I am also a graduate student in social work in my final year. My focus area is with men that suffered past abuse, sex offending against children and with paraphilia. I will also complete my sex therapist certification by next year as well.

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