Theme IV: Home, “Home Is Not A Museum”

By Hannah Treasure

the volleyball dent in our popcorn ceiling
was no masterpiece.
but mama said leave it
we do not live in a museum

Sundays I’d scrub my jeans half-heartedly,
after pulling up weeds and
earning grass-stains at the knees.
the stubbornness of cold texan clay,
quenching my barefeet from the sun
dipping my toes in the earth’s blood.

I am the daughter of a barrel racing queen
she raised me to cut through sleeping sand
with a sharp hoof, to always throw one foot
in front of the other, to collect dirt like gold.
the slowness of our southern speech
timbered by an accidental cacti prick.
a gentle surprise, a mouth spilling cherry
tomatoes over its cracked smiling brim.

my mini van was squelched like a june bug
she fell from the tree and broke her arm
we spilled salsa at the breakfast table
we slept out in rain and didn’t go in until
lightening hopped the fence like a neighbor
she rang cowbells and braised brisket that
made every chimney breathe barbecue.
we sprayed the ground with poison and
they ate it and we left it and we killed

if I didn’t dent that white piece of wall
there’d be nothing to laugh at
every time I climbed the stairs
treating the ceiling as my fiercest opponent,
its defeat inevitable, just let me cackle.
if I didn’t dent that white piece of wall
I would chip away at it one howl at a time
until it had no choice but to bend inward
and let my voice float out through the ceiling
and suntan on the roof

I am the daughter of a barrel racing queen
she did not raise me to be gentle
we were no masterpiece
we’re always spilling over
filling up tipping the brim
we do not live in a museum
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