A plastic pink flamingo wobbles on one leg outside an old-fashioned brick house with pink paint chipping off the walls. Strings of ivy have creeped up one side and embedded itself into the structure. The house stands unnoticed on the corner next to the old white church and the massive hogback jutting out of the earth; a parade of blocky tan boulders that line the rim of the mountain like a bony spine of a stegosaurus, where I’d observe the Flight for Life helicopters picking up unfortunate rock climbers.
The wood under our feet would vibrate from the sharp nails clawing their way through the floorboards with high-pitched squeaks striking our ears out of sleep. The family of raccoons were fighting once again or maybe a skunk was invading their home, which often they did, and then a stream of thick nauseating fog would emerge throughout the house and choke our throats dry.
A creaky metal gate guards our walkway where during a thunderstorm a deer got stuck and my mom went out to push on her rear end. Her hands against the gentle white fur, muscles flexed under soaked jacket, and chin up to avoid a kick to the face from the rampant hind legs of a terrified doe. The deer squealed in echo to the thunderclaps and wide black eyes froze in reflection to the lightening strikes brightening the dark sky. I watched from the window until finally her hips slipped through the bars and she ran off into the blurring rain.
In this house is where I saw my first ghost, sitting transparent on my bed looking into the vanity mirror with an empty reflection; where I grieved over the death of my hamster who died before I understood death; and where I gasped at the sight of a bighorn sheep who jumped our fence and was grazing in the backyard.
It’s been so long since I lived there but my soul still journeys there when my body cannot. I dream of the small town nestled against the foothills and wonder when again I’ll call Morrison home.