Yup. Dad was Texan, born and raised. On mentioning her father,
Janes eyes brightened. After the war, he put in to get stationed at Fort Sam
Houston and the army gave him Fort Bliss. She laughed. But Dad always
said anywhere in Texas was better than Louisiana, Florida, or the damned
North, for Gods sake. She shook her head, then looked up. You aint got
family in New York or Massachusetts or anything, right? Cant tell by accent
these days. Have to excuse me. I had a bad run- in with a Jersey pizza baker.
Left a sour impression.
No offense taken, said Reba.
She had a distant cousin who went to Syracuse University and ended up
staying in New York for keeps. Her family couldnt imagine how anybody
could stand the cold winters and conjectured that the bitter temperature
imbued itself on the people, too. Reba had only visited the Northeast a
handful of times and always in the summer. She was partial to warm regions.
The people in them always appeared tanned and smiling happy.
Im from down south. Virginia. Richmond area, she said.
Whats a Ginia girl doing out here?
Lure of the Wild West. She shrugged. I came to write for Sun City
Well, shoot. They recruit that far? Jane fl ipped her cleaning rag over
Not exactly. I thought Id start here and eventually make my way to
California L.A., Santa Barbara, San Francisco. It was a dream that still
made her restless with hope. Reba shifted her weight in the chair. Two
years later, Im still here. She cleared her throat. She was doing all the talking
when what she needed was for Jane to start.
I understand, honey. Jane took a seat at the café table and set her lavender
cleaner on the ground. This is a border town, for sure, a transient,
crossover place, but some never get to crossing. Stuck in between where
they were and where they were headed. And after a few years go by, nobody
can recall their original destination anyhow. So here they stay.
Thats quotable. Reba tapped her pen. But youve lived here awhile,
All my life. Born at Beaumont Hospital on Fort Bliss.
So where are you headed if youre already home?
Jane smiled. Just cause youre born in a place dont make it home.
Sometimes I watch the trains go by and wish I could jump on. Watch the
planes scratch the blue and wish I was inside. Moms always called me
a daydreamer, a stargazer, a rambler whatever I am, I wished to God I
wasnt. Dreaming doesnt do me a bit of good.
Kenn Nesbitt is new Children's Poet Laureate(Jun 12 2013) Kenn Nesbitt has been named the new Children's Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children's Poetry to the Poetry Foundation, which noted that the two-year position...