Down the Dirt Road

The tree branches bow into an arbor, stretching to touch the face of the rocky bluff. The creek meanders just at the edge of the road, threatening to trim it narrower yet again. This is the dirt road where I rode the school bus, an entire hour every morning to school and another hour back.  It's the road my mother drove hastily to church every Sunday morning after I made us late fixing my hair. It's where the trailer clunked noisily behind our pickup truck as I rode along with Mom hauling feeder pigs to market. It's where I stumbled and gashed my knee so hard that we had to dig rocks out of it; yet we were too poor to see a doctor and get stitches.  It's where farm dogs were mangled by careless drivers and live puppies were dumped because someone knew my dad would take them in.  It's the crushed rock road that created clouds of dust when drivers passed our old farmhouse -- dust that seeped into every crack and straight through the window screens in summertime.  It's the dirt road that signals home, right where the creek bank touches the road before the sliver of green field opens widely into pastures and fences and barns.

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