~Lead Poisoning~

WordWulf By WordWulf, 30th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

~some nights I listen to my heart beat~I float on its rhythm downriver~imagine what should have been & somehow wasn’t~miss it anyway~make the voice of my mother with my spirit~talk to me that way~like a dervish~like a dancer~perfection gone awry~ogres making off with pieces of us~

~Lead Poisoning~

I’d like to thank my wife’s mother who I never met in this life for teaching her daughter the appropriate action to take when dealing with nuisances, remedies and recipes for destroying destroyers, as in sprinkling salt on meandering hordes of slugs leech-ass clinging to the cat food dish.

And my own mother, in fact; while ranching with her in Wyoming she taught me many things, not the least of which was taking action against flocks of summer moths. She poured water into a small saucepan, mixed in dishwashing soap, tossed a dish towel over her shoulder, and advised me to watch closely. She stood on a kitchen chair, held soapy water under the ceiling light, swooped at the moths with her dish towel. They fell down, drowned in layers.

I went over one morning to have coffee with Momma and my stepdad. She was sitting at the table weeping. He was out riding fence. Momma lifted my four-year-old son into her lap, held him near to her breast, when he asked her where Lady and Snoopy were. They were pets brought from the city when my stepdad purchased the ranch.

Snoopy was a loveable Siberian Husky with a hair lip, one blue eye and one brown. Lady was a red Alaskan Malamute. Snoopy followed her everywhere. She was a year older and half again his size. Lady took care of my boy. Many a time I was busy with chores, turned around to say something to that little guy and he wasn’t there. He did that things kids do, disappeared into thin air.

There were wells and holes and rattlesnakes, a thirty foot high slab pile full of black widow spiders outside a dilapidated sawmill/barn. I went near crazy looking for that boy at times. Out there in the endless fields one day, hay and alfalfa, lavender yellow, I followed those curled Husky’s tails meandering through the rows. I found Lady herding my boy back to the house, keeping him safe, bringing him home, Snoopy close on her heels.

There was a lot for a father to worry about on that red dirt, dry-assed Wyoming ranch, cows out, broken fences, sixteen hour work days seven days a week, the never-ending demands of the hard-boss, my stepfather. Lady gave me peace and assurance that whatever hole I fell into my boy was safe with her.

Momma was weeping. “Give me a minute,” she sobbed. Momma wasn’t a crier. I watched her closely, Momma’s hand on that coffee cup, as I poured myself a cup and took a seat at the table, her arms around my boy. She took a sip, set her cup down slow and easy. “Remember when the dogs were chasing the cows?” She looked across the table at me, her eyes chocolate brown, deep and moist, bottomless.

“A couple of weeks ago,” I replied, “What?”

“Do you remember what he said?”

“He said they can’t do that. It distresses the cows. They’re ready to calve.”

She nodded sadly. “Yes, and the lead poisoning.”

I ran my fingers through my beard. “Hell Momma, he says some weird-assed shit. That lead poisoning dogs and cows business didn’t make a connection with me but I didn’t want to hear any more about it so what the hell…”

“That porcupine the dogs kept chasing,” she mused, “It died of lead poisoning.”

I nodded my head. “That was something. Never occurred to me a creature could get so many quills in its face. They whimpered and cried like little babies while I sat on ‘em and he pulled ‘em out with pliers. Seven days in a row, they’d go find that damned thing and go after it again..”

“He shot that porcupine dead,” Momma said.

“Hell of a shot,” I agreed. “A hundred yards away, that porcupine dropped dead off that telephone pole before we heard the report of the rifle. Can’t say I felt sorry for it, all the work it put us through.”

Momma hugged my boy tight, buried her face in his hair.

“The dogs chased his calves last night,” she whispered, “lead poisoning.”

~cold winter eyes~
~each side of dawn~
~eagle bumps~


Avant-Garde Writing, Blogging, Death, Dogs, Experiential, Experimental, Family, Graphic Art, Kill Shot, Lead Poisoning, Original Music, Pets, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Ranching, Tom Wordwulf Sterner, Zedidiah Zoodious Sterner

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author avatar WordWulf
I write novels, poetry, songs,nonsense & lies. Sometimes truth sneaks in when I ain't lookin'.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
30th Apr 2012 (#)

Pretty important and not to be ignored- and rightly related to health issues. Thank you for sharing the nice and timely article.

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author avatar Buzz
30th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks for the info, Tom. Take care.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
30th Apr 2012 (#)

Great article and a super share - thanks Word Wulf.

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author avatar WordWulf
2nd May 2012 (#)

I appreciate you & your comments:-)

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