Driving Down Crow’s Loop

You are bound; my hunch is, to make it just fine. ~James Dickey

 

The house I was born in is being knocked down.

After a quick drive down the interstate, I turn off on a dirt road with tangled brush and thorn walls. This is my road, Crow’s Loop.

Off to the west: the cornfield that belong to Shelby Clifton’s daddy. Every summer, I rode four wheelers and fished with Shelby. Sometimes her brother would buy us Boonefarm wine and we’d sit on the muddy bank of the river drinking and shooting black birds.

An evening when her daddy was at auction, she took my hand and led me up the creaking wooden stairs.

Just as the boards of the old house were starting to shake, her daddy crashed through the door with a twelve gauge and chased me out of his house and into that corn field. I ran bare ass naked except for a pair of tube socks with blue stripes, leaves and tassels cutting my bare flesh.  

Off to the east, the field is smothered with kudzu that grew over the rusted trucks. The house I was born in is now a pile of boards, shingles, and rock. Someone has chopped down the pecan tree I helped plant in the backyard. The huge woodshed where I drank beer with my buddies and wine with country girls has been spared.

I can smell the cedar and feel the saw dust on my bare feet. The ground beside the ditch is still soaked with the blood of dead animals.

My life has been measured out in persimmon fights, empty bud light cans, sacks of wild blackberries, and dogs buried in the yard. It doesn’t matter that the house is ruined; my home is really in the trees, in the fields  along this gravel road, the lakes in the woods, and creeks that flood the crops in the Spring.

***

James Dunlap attended Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, AR. He has transferred to the University of Arkansas this fall. He’s majoring in Creative Writing.

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