When I was eight we moved to another farm. Big red house but no barn. In the field behind the house I found a baby rabbit. I cocooned it in the bottom of my t-shirt and took it home. Mom and I made a bed from an old shoe box, and I wrote Hopper's House on the side with a felt tip marker.. I fed Hopper from a eye-dropper and set the box by the wood stove to stay warm. In the morning I ran to feed Hopper, wondering when I could bring him to show and tell, but the box was gone. I looked all over the house. Mom didn't know where it went. I got ready for school and stared at my soggy cereal until it was time to leave. On the front steps was the box—empty. Then I saw Dad walking up to the house from feeding the horse and chickens.
Loosen up—you amazonian boa: supple, shiny smother monster. I'm screaming through crushed lungs, although itt doesn't matter for I've lost my voice. Synapses misfiring, connectors coiled around the ifs and could haves; finally, at mid-life, I'm fearful, dead awake afraid because I'm losing it in this fray. I'm manhandling a self twenty years past. Like when I heard that song from twenty years ago on the radio yesterday and sang everyword, the flood of nostalgia squeezing my heart muscle. My husband said, “this is classic rock now.”
Crutching up the front steps, entering the living room, cussing under my breath, I see two plastic lawn chairs, the hand-me-down sleeper sofa pushed to the back of the room. Mom smiling, “see your nice little place I made you.” I see my striped purple and white pillow, my faded flower bedspread. I point, “that one mine?” Mom nods. “That for you?” I point at the other chair. The toilet flushes, and in limps a man with yellow hair, yellow teeth and yellow beard. He holds his back with both hands. “This is Rod. He had back surgery. We are getting married.” I'd never seen this man in my life. I'd been gone one day having knee surgery. I cuss some more, loudly. Mom hands me a glass of water and pain pills. I close my eyes and hope to sleep for the rest of my life.