Outer Lands – 1915

By on Apr 13, 2010 in Cuttings

John said so, even before we built our home in the Outer Lands neighborhood by the ocean — there would be nothing but wind. It gusted so hard, and often, the effect was comical at first. We’d laugh at the extremity we faced, so that I loved to say the word “wind.” Sometimes I’d sing it, whisper it, my breath blowing on my sister’s new baby’s cheeks. The big girls would dance crazy and free with me; we’d turn Ma’s living room into a field. That’s why they loved me. Called me Aunt Wind. I was not long past child yet, my legs a gust and a gust of air.

John said he was born with warm palms, covered my icy fingers for hours some evenings. I sketched his big rough hands: Sometimes they were pine cones, other times baby rabbits. My skin found them in the middle of the night. The cold surrounded our breathing, kept us locked together deep into mornings.

Our seeds were scattered among the barren dunes — one speck of a baby, then another — the blood would always wait five months. Swim out to sea. My hat blew off my head, two thousand times those years, tiny grains of sand filling the spaces between hair follicles, catching in the corners of my eyes.

John, he watched the ocean with his face a bible, lined. He took to working seven days, hired a hand, this routine attached to that routine. I became the cool shadow; in my mind he called me “evening.”

The wind tricked me into trying too long, Ma once said; but now she’s part of the wind, and I forgive her. I hate it when wind spits drops on my face, or my feet — when sand is so fine, it invades the seams of my boots.

He started to carry pots for me, then heavy dishes, then the cat. I couldn’t bend to pick her up one day, so he said he’d take her outside. He took the cat in his arms and learned to hold him curled up and comfortable (and now he sleeps on the good rug because he’s spoiled).

John remained strong enough to hold me in place when I screamed to the storms.

Wild Transitions Contents


Meg Pokrass lives in San Francisco. Her stories and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in the following: Pindeldyboz, Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Elimae, Keyhole, Monkey Bicycle, Frigg, Wordriot, DOGZPLOT, 971 Menu,The Rose and Thorn,Thieves Jargon, Eclectica, Chanterelle's Notebook, LitNImage, Tulip, Ghoti, Blossombones, and Literary Mama. Meg recently joined the editorial staff at SmokeLong Quarterly and is a regular prompt/writing exercise contributor for SmokeLong News. Her blog, and links with updates to new work, can be found at: MegPokrass.com.