That old shell

That old shell of a Chevy 				
in the field down by the creek 			
became our base, our fortress,			
our refuge and our shelter.				

In all those days of story 
and eventuality		 		
even innocence placed its 
lost loves where we met, shyly, 
so long ago.  
		        We trysted, 
we parted, came together 
and parted gently again.						

We grew there.  We grew up there.			
We grew roots in our minds and 
hearts there that dig and search the 
soil there still, search for meaning, 
twine into leaning loves and 
tilted, quizzical glances,			
looks that say, “Maybe….again.” 									


And now the grass grows up through 
the floorboards.  Rust falls to dust 
the earth in a halo all 
around.  The blood of the place 
runs into the soil—our blood, 
our time, our labors of growth, 
the things we do and did that 
can not be counted as work 
and cannot be priced, all those 
lessons lost with the rust, leeched 
into the soil, washed from us 
like the sweat from our bodies,
like the mud from our bare feet 

when we ran like animals
through the field and through the creek. 


The rain patters on the roof, 
singing us softly into 
the night and we sleep.  When dawn 
comes there are bare drips from the 
roof onto the old rearview 
mirror.  They roll around the 
edge to curl under and fall 
down and splash on the dashboard 
where we put the candles the 
night before.  And we come back 
to this place, to this comfort.

I come here and you are there 
before me, that look on your 
face that says, “God, you're silly! 
Silly for coming back…..but, 
here I am again, waiting.”


Time and time, and—
God!  How it hurts 
to watch it go, 
to feel it lose 
its grip on you.


This space remains.  This space is 
never the same.  This space is 
never the same shape. It will 
not fit us anymore.  

11 thoughts on “That old shell

  1. So many great sections here, it’s tough to single any out, but I love “We trysted, / we parted, came together / and parted gently again,” which seems to me the poem’s spirit and operation. Wonderful.


    • Thank you, David. I appreciate your comments so much. Makes me feel like I am actually being heard.

      “spirit and operation”–yes, I think so. this is about always and yet never returning, the past being what it is–er–was…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, the ceaseless amazement is surely mutual. Not least because there is SO much behind this piece. Remember that longer, novel-length narrative thing I mentioned? This is a part of that, and it has all that I do not yet know about this story and where it is going to take me going on behind the scenes in this piece and I’m betting (in all amazement!) that you are picking up on that! This story/tale/epic(?)/i-don’t-kow-what=to-call-it-yet is too big for me to wrap my head around just yet, but as it comes, I will be looking for consultation/feedback on the project. It will be years in the works and quite a while before I am ready for this sharing/consultation, but would you be willing? You “get” my writing.

      “drifting on the outer edges of something massive, incomprehensible” is exactly how I envision the main character/narrator feeling. constantly. except for the times that he is no longer on the edge, which is when of course the madness comes….


      • I KNEW I felt something bigger in this piece! 😀 That’s amazing how you conveyed that! This story is obviously so important it’s leaking into all your work. That’s when you know you’ve hit a gold mine.

        Of course I will be there for when the madness comes – I’d love to read over and share thoughts! This is extremely exciting. I wish you the best of luck tackling it, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Knowing you, it’ll be a thing of beauty.



    • This one had a rather babbling brook quality to how it came out of me. Rather came of its own accord, which doesn’t often happen to me. Didn’t change too much from the first draft and I’m gratified for your words.


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