Years before anyone knew a driver
could be designated, there was always
someone to steady my father into the house
the next morning, deposit him on the couch
like loose change.
Then mom would do what she always
did—send my brother, sister and me out
into the wild imagination of our backyard
to golden our faces under the warm, yellow rays
of forsythia, play hide and seek among redwood
groves of spirea, float for hours on a tide
of crimson clover until lunch or supper
called us ashore.
But sometimes the sound of heavy boots
on the porch or slam of a car door
would banish me to the dead end of a ditch;
a culvert cliff where a one-way dandelion,
rising like a hot air balloon, would some day
carry me adrift, all helium and fire crackling
against the crumbling asphalt.
Bio: Tammy Daniel was selected as one of New Voices of 2015 by The Writers Place in Kansas City, Mo. Her work has appeared in I-70 Review, Touch: The Journal of Healing, The Ekphrastic Review, Red River Review, Rusty Truck, Ink Sweat and Tears, and the Johnson County Library.