Fly Home

So I left a month before my 30th birthday, took the car I quit making payments on up and down the east coast before abandoning it in a Goodwill parking lot and started hitchhiking my way across the country. I stopped in Colorado for the winter to keep warm, learn to snowboard, and make enough scratch to buy a motorcycle because hitchhiking can tend to suck from time to time in a country consumed with insanity and distrust. And when I made my way up to Oregon, I met a girl that proved to me that not everyone is cut out for my particular brand of crazy.

She’d driven across the country with her derelict boyfriend, who dumped her once they arrived and took off with her gas guzzling car. And though she wanted to start a new life, the monkey on her back was too much to bear and she took the bus back home to lick her wounds. I saw a lot of myself in that girl, and she gave me the impetus to not give up on my own journey when times got tough or even when my own monkeys clashed their maddening cymbols in my ears. And I just kept on moving.

FLY HOME

Kristen, how can you look so tired, so much older than the years that you have seen

now your eyes are growing black and you’ve started to look back

as you stumble through the last year in your teens

Kristen, you chased a dream across America and it ended in the holes there in your arm

now your trail has turned to tears and all your hopes turned into fears

Kristen, it has come time to move on

so fly home, little bird, you’ve seen about all that you can see

you’re still mama’s little girl, but you look like a woman to me

I saw you smoking cigarettes with vagrants, sipping coffee the only time you raised your head

he took everything you had and some you didn’t

a morning life, you wish that you were dead

Kristen, I know he hurt you badly, I see the quiver in your lip when you smile

I know you try to be so strong for one so tender

Little bird, it just ain’t your time to fly

So fly home little bird, you’ve seen about all that you can see

you’re still mama’s little girl, but you looked like a woman to me

So pick up your ticket at the station, put your box of stuff there underneath the bus

Daddy’s bought your ticket home, you know, you’re way to young to roam

Kristen, you’re not like the rest of us

You know, I’d like to see those skinny legs support you

not mama’s apron strings or daddy’s fold of cash

The world’s still way too big for one so gentle

It’s always scariest just before you laugh

So fly home little bird, you’ve seen about all that you can see

you’re still mama’s little girl, but you looked like a woman to me

Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at InkenSoul.com, and sometimes posts at Anything Arts, Sarasota Music Scene, and Elephant Journal, and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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