of lying in grass

Lying on my back in the grass. It was something I hadn’t done for so many years that hadn’t occurred to me, my second thought being, I usually only do this with boys. Lying on my back in the grass, stretching my torso as far as it would go without exposing the stomach from beneath my shirt, I made a grass angel. The thick blades of grass wandered over my arms as soft bristles, comforting like a mother.

“Take me to Walmart. Just take me to Walmart and trade me in for a T-shirt. I want to be a T-shirt. I don’t want to be a person.”

I responded to the remark with something of, “T-shirts don’t have freedom, family or friends. You don’t want to be a T-shirt.”  We continued reasoning until I decided not to fuel the quandary, and  instead continued to look at the sky.

They persisted. “I’d be an eagle. If I were an animal, I’d be an eagle. Yes…an eagle. Then no one could shoot me…”

Grass angels. Sky. My mind transfered to a hill in San Francisco, where I once lay on my back in the grass. The same clouds skidded around the big blue. A bird flew by, a woozy monarch butterfly, and several neighbors came and went.

Do you remember the last time you had lain on your back in the grass? I felt as though I should have been holding a hand, and busied my fingers with plucking blades and watching them bend in my grip.

And on a day like today, I’m trying to understand why someone could desire to be a T-shirt at Walmart, not to be bought or sold, or an eagle overhead. Why would anyone in this place want to be doing anything other than lying on their back in the grass?

That’s what I did today. Swinging, too.

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