Thank You

— Nick Butterfield

I forgot to say it. Something caught in the back of my throat, now 50 years later

There never was that sense of time. The timing, the words, just weren’t there. I guess I was just busy being a kid.

I remember my mom took me to see a doctor at the hospital she worked at after repeated attempts of me jumping off the metal clothes line bar I had climbed up on in our back yard. I was determined to jump off the solid T-bar to catch a hanging rope I had put there, each time landing on my head. She took notice one day after I complained of my headache and crumpled pride.

She, a Pediatric Nurse who grew up with 5 siblings during the depression in a Wisconsin Dairy Farm in a house with a dirt floor was no stranger to pain. I remember she had her varicose veins in her legs surgically stripped and stayed overnight in the hospital. My Dad, two sisters and I watched her wave at us from one of the many windows of the hospital way up high on a cold winter night. Maybe she was the Queen of Everything.

Since then I’ve learned to skip rocks even between waves on shallow shores. I have also learned the mineral taste in the back of my throat, simple truths that don’t require time or reason,

just salt that once held my tears.

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