(written Sept 4, 2013)
The smell of Big Red soda
just visited me. There's no predicting these things!
It's gone now,
but it was here long enough to call up
some of its friends.
My uncle Hollis's white farm truck.
Vinyl, cigarettes, hay,
cow patties, fuel, probably some booze,
rust, the man sweat smell, the geographically specific
air around Evant, Texas in the 1970s,
maybe even the paper and ink of the bills and other
maybe important documents filed on the dashboard
Those blocks of salt lick also smelled,
I think. That, or they looked like they would
but I didn't get very close to find out.
I remember they scared me. Isn't that funny?
To be scared of salt licks?
They were yellowish and rounded from lots of cow tongue
and attracted flies.
In contrast to everything else, the salt licks
felt like dead things. Everything else was
weird wild and pulsing.
There were also goats. Now,
add the smell of goats and goat pellets,
intimately involved with the smell of the muddy ground.
It wasn't always muddy, sometimes very dry and cracked
w/ long stalks of clump grass playing dead
folded over the divots and walls created by hooves
when the ground was last muddy.
The sound of the truck, creaking sputtering thunking
slowly over the pasture.
I'll bet my cousin was riding those waves more like a surfer.
Used to it. That was her dad's truck. That was her dad.
I, on the other hand, though I loved the novelty
and there was something about all that disheveling
and dirt that I wanted more more MORE of
in my life...
Hollis' older brother, Harold,
had no interest in "fooling with cows"
...I may have been a bit more tense
and not so fluid in the bouncing of the truck.
My head periodically banging against something hard.
Moments of disorientation, part of the fantastic ride.