the summer i turned 12, i remember feeling like this was it. i was a farm girl.
our farm was a white, green trimmed star of cement brick barns in a bouquet of acred hills. wide, the outer edges quietly met their end in a myth of mountains that may have been appalachians, to the north and south.
it was big, endless the way my feet could never carry brown legs to an exit.
as far as the summer soil would allow, my grandfather guided the long gray flat on wheels down a hill that would be a field. we were farmers. my black hair tied tight behind my eyes, i belonged. at least until something better, marriage or a factory job, held me by the hand and pulled me out. we gathered rocks for the sun up hours, the kind of dust stones that build a path on an autumn hike.
boulders the size of my head, heaved themselves against my worn off fingernails and wrists. we weighed our spines to the ground, clearing a field of fertile soil, in the hopes that it might breathe, opening its dark brown hips to a row of seeds, the way old valley soil knew it should.