Prose: Clements Road

Prose: Clements Road


I was looking for a place I used to go as a little girl.

I’d get off the bus at bottom of the wooded hill near where Amy’s Daddy lives.

Clements Road always felt like the last stop.

After rolling through hills and passing where the tornadoes go, I’d sit tucked in the corner of a seat in the back looking for signs it was my turn to get off.

At Amy’s, we would play Sonic in the living room. I wasn’t any good at it but I like being at Amy’s cause it meant I wasn’t alone before dinner.

Between our houses, up through the hill was a hidden forest with a magical tree tunnel. I knew it was magic cause you could sit in it and see little gold flakes like fairy dust falling down and shimmering on the way to the ground.

I liked to sit in there until the dark came and I had to go home.

Miss Meredith worked over at the restaurant in the TA truck stop across the highway. She’d leave boxes of mashed potatoes and country fried steak and coloring books and at least 5 different coloring pencils on the stairs for me.

The day Daisy died, Daddy lit a fire in front of the trailer. We sat on crates and he stayed with me all night.

We climbed the billboard and I counted cars down on the highway higher than I ever remembered.

If I shut my eyes soft like I wasn’t really looking, all the lights looked like lightning bugs shooting down 69 with all these little people who didn’t know; all these lightning bugs who didn’t know nothing.

Daddy didn’t go back to work for three days.

We stayed home and planted sunflowers.

Daddy said we could watch them grow and every year they would grow tall enough to make me wonder how come sunflowers don’t already touch heaven.

I wondered in that moment, if I could grow roots like a sunflower, I might know what the top of the sky felt like and I might like it up there, as long as the ground below kept my feet warm.