The Price of Admission
The Price of Admission
So many shades of grey beneath a 60 year old glossy exterior.
Pig bristles when rubbed the wrong way - that’s how they felt - the seats in the old Chevrolet.
The last crackling remains of winter covering the black holes in the road, breaking beneath the tires, as the firs flew by.
Itchy pink calves ignored.
Hands in pockets, clutching King George and three maple leaves, dreaming of Old Henry down at the General Store.
The Galbraith’s place, the Maguire’s, the Baird’s, the Orangemen’s Hall.
she sees him,
standing on the roadside in the same place they stood on that hot day on the 12th of July when uncle Stanley and his old mare led the keepers of the Battle of the Boyne down the Point road, hooves and leather soles tapping the granite-flecked pavement in perfect sync. A sea of orange and white, moving through sweat, horse dung and the sweet breath of the wild Sea Salt roses as the parade passed.
the rustling of the tall scorched grasses in the field behind the Reid’s place, when he gave her a Life Saver for a kiss.
at the end of grade one, on a dank beeline through the woods - sidestepping a trickling stream that ran through the silence below the shafts of light that cut through the pines and their pirouetting needles. The snapping of dead branches as grade7 crossed her path, marring her straight A’s with a D grade on a trail of destruction covered in Jelly Beans.
mother finding the planted torn dress in her best friend’s bed. Pal banished to the doghouse with his tail between his legs, whining below her bedroom-window every night as she fought to find sleep.
The old Chevrolet rounds the bend.
God’s house sits on the top of a hill. She has never met him. He’s never home, but the Reverend delivers his messages every Sunday in a voice like thunder that ricochets off the walls with the wrath of God...
IF A MAN ABIDE NOT IN ME, HE IS CAST FORTH AS A BRANCH, AND IS WITHERED; AND MEN GATHER THEM, AND CAST THEM INTO THE FIRE, AND THEY ARE BURNED.
Shaking, she slinks down in the pew beneath the rose, lavender and blue faces on the window, who stare at her red face as she bows her head, and with trembling hand, reaches into her pocket and finds the nickel, and prays it will be enough.
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Written: April 30th, 2013