Photographs by my great dad, David Ayers, the kind of man who would brake for fields of sunflowers

juliesunflowers2Do I write about the fields

and the way the grasshoppers
arced like fireworks
from the wild flowers and weeds
as we laughed and sang each other’s names
our tennis shoes skipping through greens and golds

Do I write about his persistent ache
the small of me cradled in his arms
as he paced across the slope
in the shade of our backyard
whispering over and over that this world
was just too cruel and impossible to bear

Should I write about your guitar
and the folders of sheet music
scattered at our feet on the shag rug
how we spent the afternoons singing
or dancing in the basement
where we spun faster than the vinyl records

There were times you brushed my hair
and made two neat braids
while our parents screamed at one another
threw dishes and food and insults
and we tried not to cry too loudly
least they turn all of that rage on us

Don’t write about his intractable depression
and her crushing frustration
raising four young children
an eye always on the gun rack
her wallet never full enough
for mortgage, beans, medicine, and longer pants

You ask me to remember the good times
when we were happy as children
and dangled from tree branches like fruit in the sun
I am a shiny apple that ripened and made it to market
carefully tended but if one looks closely
there are small holes made by the worms

Bite with care

Photograph by my dad, David Ayers, who would brake for sunflowers and bust out his camera

Photographs by my great dad, David Ayers, a man who would brake for fields of sunflowers

March 2013
Julie Ayers


About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

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