Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The Kansas sky rolls by the window, blue shot with heavy gray clouds. I press my face against the seat, my back to the shallow murmurs in front of me. I can hear my belongings rattling in the trunk, my clothes still on hangers, my stereo braced tight against a suitcase filled with pictures.

My tears fall freely at times, and then dry up with no warning. I have no control anymore of when they come.

The car slides left, pulls to a stop. I hear my brother get out and open my door.

"Hey, sis. We are making a pit stop. Need anything?"

I shake my head. I feel weightless and burdened all at once.

He looks off into the distance, his jaw twitching. His blue eyes tell more than his words ever could.

He doesn't know what to say to me. I don't know what I want to hear.

My skin still holds the mark of her hands. My shoulder aches from blows. My skin is stretched tight over a body that doesn't know how to move without remembering. My mind has leveled out and shut down.

I want to scream. I want to never talk again.

I have nowhere to go. I am at the mercy of whatever family member draws the short straw to rescue me from my mother again.

This time it is Troy who stands where others have stood.

I cannot make words come. I cannot say anything other than "Thank you.", words that seems so small against the sacrifice of driving hundreds of miles, leaving your own children behind, to rescue your sister from foster care. Again.

I am ashamed. I am broken.

He closes the door softly, and walks away with his shoulder hunched against the wind.

I look out from the window. The words lie like sleeping dogs in my mind-

"Where are you, God?"

Just a week ago I had been to church. I had sat in sunday school with other 14 year olds. I was told God was like the wind- an unseen force. I had rolled my eyes like everyone else but in my mind I prayed it was true.


But real.

I step out of the car, watching only my battered shoes as they carry me across pavement into grass and brush. I look up into a sky as wide as any I have seen. The blue stretches end to end over me. The wind buffets me, pushing my clothing aside, pulling my hair to hide my face.

"I can't do this God. I don't know where I belong."

The wind pushes harder against me, pulling me front to back. Dust swirls.

"If you are here, if you are real, show me. Help me to know."

From the distant highway it rose up. Taller than me, clouded in swirls.


It rushed to me, covering me there on that lonely place. Coating me with grit and dirt.
It made my eyes sting, made me cough.

I got back in the car.

My tongue found lips coated in dust. My figers held it in their grooves. My hair was pearly gray with it.

Proof of wind. Proof of the unseen, seen. Seen and felt.

My eyes ran with more than dust as the wind rolled by my window.