This Place I Call Home

I spend my days driving past Dollar General Stores and family
compounds made up of doublewide trailers interspersed with peanut
fields, old farm houses, and little, closed-minded country towns trying
to be more than they are. Sluggish, muddy rivers that rise and fall with
the rains on their way to the seas. Pine trees everywhere that cotton is not.
Yards themselves leaking oil from the rusted masses of metal scattered dormant
in the bahia grass offering the sky its crop of forked stalks and black seeds. Chinaberry trees taking hold of any unclaimed land around the edges. Rubber-tired steel pipes spewing water sucked out of the earth as they crawl across these fields, recently divested of tree lined borders to make way for a few more cotton rows. Rebel flag tags adorning jacked-up trucks blasting hip-hop and bro country out the rolled-down windows, through which the aroma of peanuts freshly liberated from their earthen womb rides on the evening air. An endless stream of log trucks battering potholes in the road. Few thoughts survive here beyond the thinker’s line of sight. But the cicadas cry out to the heat-blasting sun. And the gnats, always the gnats, rising from the rank layers of organic matter decaying into the soil. This loamy sand soil holding the world together.

©2019 Lenny Wells

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