When I Move to the Mountains
by Tresha Haefner
Tresha Faye Haefner lives in San Jose, California, where she teaches English and Social Studies, frequents Barefoot Coffee, and shares a studio apartment with her cats, Nimue and Nietzsche. Her work appears in BloodLotus and Zygote in My Coffee.
(After Jenny Joseph)
I will live in a log cabin with a patch of sunflowers out front,
and wear a hat full of holes and boots the color of mud,
and have long braids down my back and own a dog named Max
and drive an ugly blue pickup truck through town.
At night I'll boil potatoes in an old dented pot
and read books that nobody else reads anymore
and sit in a calico chair covered with doilies and listen
to the sound of snow out my window,
and drink plain coffee and squint at the sun and say things to my neighbors
like "howdy" and "nice to meetcha" and "hi."
Most of my education will be lost and I will wander around town
not knowing things about the Renaissance
or how they used to put egg shells in paint to make it stick,
or how to find the square root of anything.
Instead I will learn a lot about the price of wood and the weight of eggs
how long it is till the dead of winter and which is the shortest day of spring.
I will buy groceries on credit and borrow books from the library
and make dresses out of gingham and blankets out of wool.
And get old and fat and have a head like a snow-globe
and a belly like a frozen grape and laugh at little things
like birds picking worms out of my garden path,
and cats playing on my living room rug.
And when it gets cold, I will buy an old ugly coat
and a heater for the truck and a dog-sweater for Max.
And in the spring when I start to dig and get dirt under my fingernails
I will remember everything about the first day of school
the cleanness of my uniform, the sharp edges of my desk
and I'll smile, and leave it there.
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