Southern Exposure

For weeks I’d been getting away with pants or at least longer shorts. Up in the mountains of Ramona it wasn’t too hot. But that day we were off to Calico ghost town in Death Valley—the whole family was going and there was no getting out of it. Besides, I loved the desert. Still, it was likely to be 100 degrees or more and there was no way to get away with pants. So I pulled on my pink shorts and tank top, hoping mom wouldn’t notice.

Of course she did. “What’s that bruise on the inside of your thigh?”

I suspect she already knew. Mary Lou’s mom had probably called her the day it happened. (Your daughter’s friend doesn’t get stepped on by your horse without you calling her mom, after all.) I had convinced myself she didn’t know I’d gone over there that morning; that I’d gotten away with the forbidden main-road crossing before school. I was sure she didn’t know about that fateful bareback horse ride and me falling off. But the jig was up. The heat had exposed my secret.

Southern exposure
Reveals what we’d like hidden
In the desert heat


Had to write another Southwestern-inspired poem, a haibun this time, for dVerse Poets Pub.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


12 Responses

  1. i was worried about the cause of the bruise at the beginning, but glad to see it was only a horse….of course. Love the title of your poem and thanks for a second response to the prompt. Most enjoyable. 🙂

    • This was 4th or 5th grade. My school was overcrowded so we had half day sessions and I went to school in the afternoon. Had the whole morning to get in trouble while my mom was at work.

  2. Love the double play on “southern exposure” here. 🙂

    I got burned by the tail pipe of a friend’s motorbike once. Should never have been on it, and would have been in BIG trouble if I got caught. Told my parents I burned my leg with a curling iron. MAN, I hope my kids don’t lie as freely as I once did!

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