from a collection entitled Stirrup of the Sun & Moon
29.4241° N, 98.4936° W
I was birthed into the world in Biloxi
right about the time Hurricane Camille
was due to make landfall in ‘69.
My mother says the doctors
were talking about the World Series
and the moon landing.
I don’t remember Biloxi.
San Antonio, however,
is when and where ‘I’ truly ‘arrived’.
This is when and where
this soul of mine
began taking copious notes.
I, of course,
could never have known
we would trade-in hurricanes for scorpions.
One of my first memories is of crawling.
Being an August sun-baby, I loved basking in the warmth of the sidewalk.
My mother insisted, however, that I stay in the grass
so I wouldn’t scratch my knees up.
Little did she know, that grass stung!
It stung, and tickled, and “bit” at my bare legs like small fangs.
Immediately after placing me in the grass,
over and over and over again, I would navigate back
to that smooth gray sidewalk
with its sun-captured heat
radiating upward like a tortilla oven.
But, then it happened.
Over and over and over again,
would descend from the heavens above,
lift me up like a sack of green chiles,
and place my ass right back in the grass.
I’ve been doing battle with irritation ever since.
I was born in Biloxi
but my spirit
didn’t really enter my body
until San Antonio.
…and like the Rio San Antonio
that flows down through Goliad
and merges with the Rio Guadalupe,
the rest of my life has been a flowing
and a merging
and a meandering
and a hunting after
that solar relief
that Original Soothing Medicine-Heat
I once felt on my tender knees.
(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com
image: excerpt, Ambient Desert / Desert Wind (artist unknown)