Growing Up-State.

No street lights. Pitch black nights. Perfect backdrop for viewing stars. Fall asleep to sounds, crickets, frogs, neighbors dog...muscle cars. The sight of the wind bending trees, the jingling of round leaves. Still mornings, birds feeding, sun shining, fog rising, above morning dew. Pink skies, orange hue. Party lines, clothes lines, lines on road go on and on. Yellow bus, stirs up dust, to come gather childrens song. Three, Four, Five years fly. School begins, mothers cry. First one on, save a seat for my friend. Hour long ride to school. Silence, laughter, smile, pretend. Flashes of round bales that swim in golden fields. Patches of dandelions here and there revealed. Black and white fellow creatures, chew their cud, hint of liquid manure, rainy spots on windows, trudge through mud. White outs, mountain size banks that never close. Snow day! Ode to play! Until too cold our nose! Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic. Homework, schoolwork parents not empathetic. Crushes, fights, first love, first pain. First A+, first judgment, first confidence, first shame. Growing up, decisions, choices, choices, choices! Diving into life. Discovering we have voices. Gun racks, shot guns, no one died. Not brought into school, no one tried. Gravel parking lot full of ATV’s. Home made four wheel SUV. Deer on them, in them, hanging from trees. Official, unofficial, uniforms worn with pride. Denim, flannel, shitkickers the color of cow pies. Schools out! Hatchet throw, log roll, greased pole, field days in July. Friends and peers, shouts and cheers fireworks in the sky. Snowmobile races on water, the smell of burned rubber, the demolition derby. Wild life, jackrabbits, squirrels, raccoons, bear. Camping, sleeping with eyes wide open, playing cards and Yahtzee. No security lights. Pitch black nights. Perfect backdrop for viewing stars.

-Combined efforts - David D.Clark/Nina J.Smith