Sunday, January 3, 2016

No Mistakes (Revised)


How many mistakes can you make?
Can you make everything go wrong?
The pretty yellow black-eyed susans
Should have warned me from the beginning
I thought I had taken the lemons given me and made lemonade
On the tail end of the breakdown
I was coming out on the other side and would be victorious.....
That's what I thought - I think I remember it that way

How many mistakes can you make?
Can you make everything go wrong?
We moved into that trailer in triumph
The kitchen had been ripped out and paint stained the carpet
But the paint was fresh and the carpet was new
There were yellow flowers all around in the field
And the edge of the woods where we moved it
The walls were white and a dryer lay
On its side in the laundry room- it worked
At first the friends were helpful -  they came and things got fixed
And it was going to get better
I should have known better then to get hopeful

How cold can you get?
How many things can go wrong?
The fall was winding down and the winter would come
The dealer told me 100 gallons of propane would last the winter
Could anyone predict that the tank would be empty in only a month?
We had never lived that way before
Without heat, in a tin can in the middle of a barren field
We didn't know how. We made mistakes. I made mistakes

Three of us shivering under a mountain of blankets
The cat and the dog put away their differences for a place in the bed
I'm not sure how we made it through - I messed that up pretty good
It was so cold and I did it all wrong
But we made it through to the other side of that winter
And we were OK - and things looked like they would get better

How hot can you get?
How many things can go wrong?
As the spring faded  my hope died in the blistering heat
in the middle of a barren field
They cut down all the forest and left just ruts in the mud
I had made a plan - I bought the land,  I did the work
I didn't know how many mistakes - I could make again

How hot can you get? Can you make everything go wrong?
To get money to move the trailer,  I sold the car
It didn't matter, I said because we'd be in town
That's what I thought
He said 6 weeks.... but then he said 6 more
I couldn't make it that far and the money got spent

Spent on living and we just got stuck
The only thing that saved us that summer was the water
Thank god there was a well
We could live under the stream of spray of the cold clear water
And the friends sneered and looked at our tans
And said we looked like we had a great summer

How lost can you get?
How many things can go wrong?
The summer finished and the fall came and someone made the call
The electricity on again and the social workers finally came
I didn't have to to tell them - I didn't have to ask for help!
They turned to leave but I needed help, wanted help
I asked for help from snakes who smile and hiss and slither

How lost can you get?
Can you make everything go wrong?
They told me they would help - sent workers to help
And the friends dropped us off at night in the dark
We all worked together and that's how it seemed at first - like help
I trusted and I prayed - I smiled and the kids played
And the air got colder but I got smarter

We had a heater this time, kerosene
Light to read by in the cozy evenings
We could make a meal and heat a room. But I didn't have a car
And we were stuck there in that damned bare field
With no way to escape and no help
When the snakes came and stole my kids

How many mistakes can you make?
How many things can go wrong?
As you wait and pray and follow the rules
And the friends won't stand up for you in court
I fought and played their games
I slept on strangers couches to make it
And I watched the light fade from my babies eyes

How many mistakes can you make?
Can you make everything go wrong?
As the last of my health was fading away
I did find one last push - the strength tell a good lie - and won
I played their game and I threw away a dream and a future to win
But I got played and I lost my trailer, my land and my health
My kids came home and the light was gone from their eyes

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