Movin on with Nellie: Sometimes


Sometimes I want to flip back the calendar

I would like to see you again as a toddler

Raking Texas tree leaves with a tool

three times your height. You insisted then.

Sometimes I want to take you by your hand

To find out what happened in your brain

When you tumbled out of the climbing tree,

When you were attacked on the strip, again

When meth heads pummeled your head.

I would like to insist to the doctors who

Saw you after two concussions on the freshman

Football field, an away game, where they laughed

When you couldn’t find bearings and sense to run,

That your brain is broken and rebuilding grey

Matter is more important than living as a jock.

Sometimes I want to roll back the clock

And find a way to keep peer pressure at bay

And away from your self-medicating woes when

The high-pitched noises scramble thoughts.

What happens to a brain destroyed by

Trauma and vodka and a few hits on the side?

Sometimes I want to revisit Trapper’s Kettle to

See you conversing and philosophizing with friends.

I’d like to let you know that whatever it is,

You are strong and brave and kind.  Finding

Purpose in your surroundings will slow the

Brain pain and heart haze.  Find purpose

In every conversation, in every lesson, in every

Good deed for others. Sometimes, it is more

Important to be kind than to be right; more

Important to love others than to be powerful.

Sometimes I want to start all over again

Counting your toes, your fingers, and laughter

In the bathtub. I want to see you with the

Baby animals, and in the carnival car. It’s then

I want to make everything upright again.

Sometimes I want you to know what

I know that Sometimes can be a state of mind.

—Nelda Curtiss is a former substance-prevention media specialist, journalist, and retired college professor who enjoys writing and fine arts. Contact her at [email protected]

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