In the Dirt


Dirt-road living makes a different kind of American child. The impact of car tires on gravel,  the weaving around tiny mud caverns, the gravel popping like confetti bombs, all make the sound of a warm body coming for you, someone new at the door. Even if you know it’s your great-uncle Sam and he’s just coming to ask about the hay, you can’t help the heart throb.

The new rhythms, because your feet felt the vibration, a transference, a motor rumble for the bored nervous system, spike adrenaline in ways you know, even as a child, that they shouldn’t.

I walk to the driveway, rolling clouds of dust, signature parting gifts.

In the dirt, in some Tennessee bottom land, I twirled a dress that my Mama might have made. The sun turns me summer-blonde, still.

Still, I like the adrenaline, to dance, to go absolutely blonde, to let my feet cake up with proud mud. Still, there’s something about it that seems right.

Aren’t we all waiting down here in the dirt for the sky to split right open? Won’t we be glad when we feel the earth move that one last time? Strong white horse stomping the air. A man with tattoos on his leg.

He’s coming.

amberhaines
About me

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10 Comments

kendal
Reply November 8, 2010

Ahhhhh. I travel two miles of dirt road to get in or out of my house....Never thought about relating it to Revelation. Thank you.

emily freeman
Reply November 8, 2010

Love. We had a gravel driveway growing up. Not quite a road, but the same feel and sounds you describe. Sweet memories - and now, sweet anticipation.

debbie
Reply November 8, 2010

Oooh, shivers!
Can't wait!

Elora
Reply November 8, 2010

love this. He is coming indeed.

Elizabeth @claritychaos
Reply November 8, 2010

Really powerful. I might not be able to define poetry, but I know it when I see it.

Love.

    Seth
    Reply November 8, 2010

    Elizabeth,

    I think there was a Supreme Court decision relating to this... or something similar...

Sara Sophia
Reply November 9, 2010

Yes. A. Yes.

Celebrate it.
This coming triumph of our Father.

I feel that crack-open every day.
He comes anew for us now.
In the waiting
we meet God.

(and I love that we can have poetry conversations in a comment box
in this place I once heard you coin "the webbernets")

<3,
S.S.

Aimee
Reply November 9, 2010

WOW.

And, YES! I can't wait for Him to come!

laura@life overseas
Reply November 10, 2010

Um, yeah, can I say this is one heckuva beautifully-written piece. Sheesh, I feel like like I'm reading a Classic in Modern Poetry in some College Class or something. No, really, beautiful, powerful writing. You captured childhood and the South and the waiting, expectant.

Loved it.

Though I am trying to hold myself back from commenting too often on your blog, lest you feel like I am stalking-too-hard-core.

I really think it's that at night, I just have more time on my hands. :) Dang, no-cable -in languages- we- can- understand.

Faith
Reply November 10, 2010

Beautiful! I grew up in rural Alabama(ok it's all rural) with dirt roads abounding. I live in geargia now- the big city. I miss those dirt roads.
He is coming and I am watching!

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