Why in Hell Did You Move Back Here?

Why in hell did you come back to East Texas?
What would make you do that?
You were so glad to escape
all those years ago.
And that was the word you always used.

Well . . .
I say,
then tell one of the “sort of” reasons,
the ones that didn’t really matter.
For they would be shocked at the truth,
never really understand.
Maybe even look at me in a different way.
So strange, they would think and say
to one another.
Yes, it is. Surely strange by East Texas standards.
But no one knows the truth but me.

Her kooky artist soul
never belonged to East Texas,
a place from which she would flee
as soon as she grew
into big girl shoes.

Our hearts met many, many miles
from here.
Neither knew at first of our ties
to the land we had escaped
before we had to feast
on the East Texas black earth.

I won’t bother to tell them
of being thunderstruck and swept up
in freckles surrounding those green eyes.
No need to talk about the depth
breadth and volume of emotions
that followed us around
like a lost puppy.

No need for any of that.
For words are too puny,
and any explanation would be too feeble
to understand.
Just like the truth of why.
Why I moved back here.
It is simple in a way,
But would still be strange to most.

Her family thought East Texas
was where she should lie
when her journey came to an end
at the end of a dusty road so far away.

I smile when I think of her reaction
had she known while she still walked with me.
The irony would make her smile
knowing she would lay for all eternity
In East Texas black earth.

Why did I move back to East Texas?
I just wanted to be close.
So I could visit now and then.
Talk to her, tell her things,
maybe read a new poem.
It’s not enough
but it’s all I’ve got.

Why did you move back to East Texas?
Ah, you wouldn’t believe it anyway.
But she would.
She would understand and smile.
Her grin would light up those green eyes.

Michael Mathews
September 14, 2020
10:46 PM Monday
Near a place where I hear rumors of home