Off to See the World / by Mary Parker

As I gulped thick night and reached for the comfort of its humid reign, I remembered how open-armed night-smells had healed me in times past. Just then your scared and scattered way-of-being came into my thick-night-ness and I breathed in the Life of It All, way in, much deeper than I’d been able to before.

I inhaled every nuance of Your Leaving.

I was driving fast in the dark and thinking of losing you.  Well, okay, really my mind raced on about how a mother never really thinks her son will go, but I always knew you’d have to someday and now I had to face facts.  It was the first time I’d heard that song, you know, the one about the angry warrior, the one who needs to see the world and find an old-fashioned girl. You know, that one?  

The wind smelled sweet like just-cut grass smells when the air twirls deep August-dark and that smell brought you onto my lap. That scent placed the back of your 5-year-old neck in front of my mommy-lips and I kissed your little nape, right where your black hair tickled your skin. I kissed you again through the tears of my night air.

When that viscous breeze blew back through my open empty lap I worked hard to lap up the loneliness with the beat of thanks for having your self snuggled little once against me, once upon a time. While the sky fell wet and I pounded down upon the wheel to the song beat, I heard the echoes as you beat it another step closer away.

You, My Son, go. See the World.

And those words of that song continued to fly across the ocean of my eyes and then came a vision of you⎯now nine⎯and standing next to your golden dog holding a sweet-day air-smelling dandelion just for me.

And then twelve and in Spain. Together, feeling cozy cloud of storm envelope us an hour before our first bullfight. Later, in our mucked-blood spirits, standing odored in united desire to appear strong in the face of cultural propriety.

And then your graduation night with the condensed worry of your expectant future, your fluttering fears falling about like ash upon our last flittering fingers. Strains, sounds, and resonant dark songs tingled to the tune of the empty threads inside of me as they untwirled; unneeded, unknowing.

As now you’re gone and gone there now. Not here now.  Off. To see the World.




Mary Parker is an established freelance feature writer and non-fiction book author, and holds an MA from the University of Texas’ School of Communications.  She is just about to complete her first novel, a Southern lite-lit titled Kaylee, Texas. In spring 2016, Texas A&M University Press will release her non-fiction book, Explore Texas – A Nature Travel Guide. Her fiction and creative non-fiction pieces have appeared in Sheepshead Review, Pacific Review, NIB, Iridum Sound, and Main Street Rag, among others.