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Our detritus is our design.


Submitted:Jul 17, 2012    Reads: 12    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


These mornings are the preludes of small town living.Daddy collects the long, homely road's detritus:the small scraps of iron coughed up by each devilish bend, the indefatigable furniture which sit sweetly at every awkward elbow.I stick my hand out the window in its permanently agape state, catching my own shreds of sunlight shrapnel.

Garbage is our mother.It gives birth to everything novel, and the inventor who discredits it is disillusioned with his configurations because he is a fraud.He does not know the majesty of the earth, for if he did, he would understand that the things we discard are the closest to who we are:the veins which give birth to tendons which deliver nerves and thus the very crux of inspiration are made possible only by the relinquishing of cells that make fingers, function and fruition possible.And, because of this, the man who discredits garbage is detritus himself.

My father believes that man's garbage must be collected, else humanity fall into desuetude.There is a line between man and nature, and that divide is kept in detente by junk.Junk that is the coming-from of every family.Since it is not in the nature of man to admit his dependence on nature, junk is contrived from the will of the former but the flesh of the latter.It is a family's eternal compromise.

"Do you think your mother would like this couch?"The proprietary phrase of our Sundays.

Plump and lavender, Sunday's best is strapped to the rearof our truck, doting at its heels.She is as much my mother as any other incarnation; frail, overcompensating, kindly and therefore strong.A bit too prideful and neglecting of integrity to qualify for any celestial echelon, but enough modest and enough courteous to be junk, and undoubtedly closer to my heart.

Weeping and condolences aside, the loss of my mother was never something I suffered.No, she dwells in the meaty crevices of small town roads, this one especially, leaving fingernails and poundage behind.We pick them up in our tenacious truck, the pastiche of her extra pounds, helping her lose that long-condemned weight that she never did forsake in her waking years.

"Mother is getting thinner."
"'Nother rocking chair and one more bergere and she'll hit her goal weight."

So often as not, my father will replace the argot of our silence with words of his own.Today is one of those occasions."Do you miss her, your mother?" is written onto the record of our diaphanous dashboard, the last two words unnecessary if not for my father's need to acknowledge his loss of her.

I tilt my head so as to look at him.I never experienced it.

"No, she's not gone.I guess, what I'm tryin' to say is, were youhurtby it?"

"As hurt as I was by the chopping down of that tree."I watch his eyes, and they remain on the road.They do not need to see the line my index finger slices through the verdant and mortified earth to the riparian stump to acknowledge it.Yes, he acknowledges the fallen oak and my heart the same.

"I suppose your mother will have to live, wher'ever she is, with a missing limb."

"I suppose she does.Bless her heart."

"Bless her heart."





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