When I crush the head of a clover bloom, the scent carries me to that far off field where my weed battered knees cut trails by the blackberry bush. Where the old man let us feast on his jam flavored crop of wild fruit, and told us tales of when his hair was crowned with dandelion fluff. Where the overhead hum of power lines cursing the heat of summer was the only thread we used to find our way back home. Where the king of the day was crowned based upon who found the biggest possum skull, or smashed the tallest crawdad hole; swearing he fought off its occupant, who was the size of Bobbys dog. Back then, the trash of ditches was pirate swag, or royal treasure. A baseball bat swollen with ditch water was a giants club. A thorny weed was the last proof of an ancient forest.
Time ran slow there, meandering with bees that passed, honey-drunk in zigzags before our eyes. They were as shameless as we explorers, who trampled grass, and danced around blossoms as if we were avoiding primed traps. We knew our place in the field. It was indifferent of us some days. Others, it was proud of its unburied vaults; parting brush in our presence to reveal a giant beetle, or some flower we swore was a color never seen before. We abided its rules, always entering by the same hopped fence, and landing on the same smashed grass threshold of the day before. We always followed butterflies, knowing them to be the guides in that flat Heaven. We never crushed a perfect blossom, or ran from a passing bee, fearing wed curse the days expedition.
Thats how summers went: passing our days in another place, a country on another plane, separate and safe from school books or bed times, where we listened to the wind whisper those secret things that had to be tapped out in tree branches to be understood.
Until one day, we hopped the fence, eager to uncover an apple core buried the week before, so we could see what the soil did with our offering. Thats the day when we lost the field. Every bull nettle stem, beetle blanket, and every other thing and place that wed named in the sacred kid tongue had been torn away. The whole of it severed at the stalk. We all whimpered that the cicada shell wed crushed the week before was to blame, but I knew that wasnt the reason. The world we came from was jealous of our hiding place; of the last patch of magic that it may have been weaved out of long ago.
I grew sick at the scent of all those headless flowers, left piled up in mounds by the force that had broken them all in one swing. I wept for the bees that lay like striped raisins dying of thirst far off in some front lawn garden, whose blooms were dust compared to the potent nectar theyd grown accustomed to.
I still dance around perfect blossoms, and frown when I see a bee shining thirsty in the Sun.