by Liz Rector
My experience of moving at a young age.
|Pennsylvania is warm summer nights, watermelon that cracks apart to spill sweet juice, jars waiting on the back porch to catch fireflies
It’s sloppy Primanti Brother’s sandwiches before going to wave golden Terrible Towels at Heinz Stadium
One day it is getting lost in the Andy Warhol museum, spilling down Sandcastle’s slides, feeling your stomach meet your throat at Kennywood
And another it is long stretches of semi-truck littered roads and rolling hills, brick paved streets and small town storefronts
I lived here, considered myself from here, but it was a blur
It was lying on my tummy watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, laying out on our neighbor’s back porch with fruit shaped plastic ice cubes, picking up rocks in the empty lot next to our house, keeping a keen eye out for my babysitter as my bus gasped and sputtered at the end of the hill
And when a strong hand pulled me towards the car, yanked me to Texas, that was my first real heart break
No more grandma, or grandpa and grandma, or cousins that became brothers, or aunts and uncles
No more back woods adventures, cannonballs and pool basketball, late nights with the Playstation, sliding around on kitchen floors in once white socks, or homemade fudge and hockey games
I think it was years before I stopped crying.
Now I visit. And it’s home. And it’s not. And I still feel like a vagabond that doesn’t quite belong anywhere because my heart has been shattered and scattered across the country.