Jessie

My sister and I wouldn’t fit in the buggy seat

with Mother and our aunt that day seventy years ago

on a dirt road in Idaho, so we were tucked up in the back

in the dirty black leather baggage compartment

and admonished: Sit still and hold tight

My sister - the curly haired one everyone said was so pretty

was four and I was 20 months younger

but I remember very clearly

She Pushed Me        

I wouldn’t have fallen out if she hadn’t pushed me

How long I sat there in the deep dust

of the road in the desert

until Mother realized I wasn’t in the buggy and

they came back and found me         

I have no idea                                   

I see myself in an infant’s white dress sitting

in the middle of the road, crying

I know they came back and got me

I’m here today

But there is a place in my mind

where I am still sitting, crying desperately                      

in the middle of that dusty road                   

in the middle of the desert

Heywood Williams -- September 22, 1989

 

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