Six Hour Drive the Day Before Thanksgiving

I stalk through Bolivar 
to the grave stones, 
stare at the ground 
as if I could resurrect 
pink dress suits, my grandma’s          bones. 
            It’s like that time I collected rocks in a milkcrate – 
            My brother dumped them
                        into the woods 
                        where raspberries grew
                        behind the chicken coop
            I tried to squeeze the life out of my stones
            as if they were magical
                        like when my brother and I found that 
                        blue bird          broken wing
                        let’s give it a bath – 
                        now I know that’s called 
“I won’t cry today” 
should be on grandma’s                     headstone,
the last thing she said 
before I went home 
with a hole in my chest. 
Three days later                                  her last breath. 

Charity Ray attends the University of Tennessee for English Literature and Teacher Education. Catch her rock climbing, writing, smelling old books in the library, or watching funny cat videos. She is also a master of making the perfect chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-A.