And Still We Pressed On…

No rest in sight it seems, this deserted place insists we move thru it, quickly.

My legs burn, my lungs are full of the stuff these tumbleweeds are made of.

The Coyote spoke in hushed words I barely understood,

“Leave you here…”

“…in ten minutes…”

“…to the East..”

“DON’T MAKE A SOUND!”

With that he seemed to fall off the face of the earth without so much as a breeze to make his passing. I squeezed Maria’s cold little hand, the tension running between us like a harmonic on a fretboard. She had to make it. There was no other thought allowed to enter my head.

I crouched over her , the night air so crisp it felt like my breath would shatter it , counting to ten, or fifteen. Checking my compass one more time I bundled Maria up and tucked her like a solid gold football against my abdomen, then I let loose. Using legs that had kicked ten thousand soccer goals I leapt out of the undergrowth, tearing across a gravel road that seemed fifty yards long, but in reality was less than 5.

My worn out sneakers shot gravel out behind me, it sounded like cannon fire and my rushing blood roared like thunder in my ears. I gripped Maria tighter, willing the Border Agents to look the other way with every step. I saw the blue flash of their truck lights thru the broken stalks of corn, imagined to hounds of hell at my heels.

MI Dios,I prayed, please! For Maria for Maria for Maria…

The field was more dense now, cover better…I tried to imagine the Coyote’s voice.

“After you run 2 kilometers lie down at the edge of the culvert…”

Two kilometers… a culvert…in the blackness I saw nothing-then the low cement wall hit my shin mid stride, sending a white bolt of pain shooting to my brain. I felt my precious bundle break free of my grasp, my forward momentum sending her in a gentle arch ten feet to my right. An ‘ooof’ burst thru my lips, but I still thought we would be ok, Maria was bundled in a blue blanket I found the day before. Arms outstretched and at full body extension I watched the blue blur till my head hit the ground. As the light left my eyes I remember hearing a tiny splash…hmmm, sounded like a trout jumping…a pretty blue and silver trout, like the last one Papi caught before he disappeared…it was going to taste…so…goo…

Author: Susan Todd Martin

I am an Artist, Poet and Author. A Survivor of Violent Sexual Abuse and Rape, I have lived thru Severe Domestic Violence, Twenty Three years of Addiction and Alcoholism, Family Dysfunction, Chronic Pain, Dependence on Opioids, and 2 Venomous Snake Bites...I have Been Stabbed, Shot at, Tied to a Tree and Choked Unconscious. A Quarter Horse Rolled on Me, as did a Lawn Tractor. I also Wrecked a Harley into a Tree! I also have PTSD and Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder, and spent my 18th birthday in a Locked Psychiatric Ward. I am so much more than this: I feel like a tiny seed that sprouted in a desert, and now has grown into a Passion Vine. My Art is my Voice, Screaming, Crying, Praying, Loving, Laughing, Healing- all in Riotous Color...