Bridgette Walden Boothe : Flash fiction: August 2021

Southern Legitimacy Statement: … grew up between the poor cotton farms and the Ozarks–both of Arkansas. She is a dog lover, tree hugger, nature activist, and defender of children and animals.

10 Step Directions to My Home

  1. Walk barefoot with a bobber-rigged cane pole down the dirt road cutting through thick woods under the tree branched canopy offering lemonade-cool dark shade on a sunny day, that passes by the secret path to the fishing hole.
  2. Turn into summer air so heavy and wet a deep inhale delivers a warm drink of water, or trudge into the winter’s snow, cold and heavy enough to build a 3-week igloo.
  3. Slowly spin on the tire swing hanging from the pecan tree on the left 40, or run to catch the knotted rope mid-air to swing out and drop into the ice cold swimming hole on the creek.
  4. Climb to the highest branch of the magnolia tree, skin your knees on the way up, and watch out for mosquitoes.
  5. Spy down the ditch from that overlook to spot snakes in the water, or over to the thicket and see bluebird fledglings venture first flight.
  6. Saddle up the horse and ride over to the flat wooden bridge.
  7. Sit on the bridge, drop in a line of bacon-tied bailing twine and pull up some crawdads ‘til you fill the bucket plumb full.
  8. Ride back to the house with the bucket balanced to your side on the saddle-skirt.
  9. Sit on the porch drinking sweet tea, eating boiled crawdads ‘til your fingers turn red, then chomp fresh rows of corn off the cob from the field, and watch the sun set while listening to your grandma’s stories.
  10. Sit on the old folded towel on the ice cream maker until your bottom is frozen numb, taking turns with your cousins between sitting and turning the crank, then finally sit back eating fresh cold ice cream with sliced strawberries from the garden–while Ma spins stories from her chair and Papa softly plays the magic fiddle tune for the fireflies to dance on the dark breeze.