Gina Bennett

Wide open spaces --
wide open wind --
fifteen iced winters,
fifteen vacant years,
I fell down
in the farmhouse,
my father's black
farmhouse & my mother's flat
silence, my father's dull
beatings, my dull blackened skin
alloyed with the cold.

Wide open spaces --
but Charlie came to them,
shrank up the land, held off the wind,
called me down from my window with
his car radio playing
& springtime in his blonde blonde hair.

Wide open spaces --
but Charlie came through them;
slid like a sunbeam
unlocking numb earth,
gathered me up,
still, still, in the bright hush,
my skin sweet pink, on glowing bones.

& the whistling wheat fields,
my father's black farmhouse,
then Charlie came to them,
Charlie came


drowned the dark stairwell
in warm thick vermilion,
spun the dead snow
into a red red

Wide open spaces --
Charlie drives
me away,
one hand on the wheel,
one hand
to my cheek,
a fingertip

Wide open spaces,
through the windshield,
in me.

© Gina Bennett

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