There is No Oklahoma

“It’s cold in Kentucky this morning,” Martha said. She tapped her toe against the wood deck and set the rocking chair in motion.

I nodded, stared at the cotton field.
“You ever been to Kentucky?”

“No. I just heard it was cold.”

“Oh.” We listened to the radio.The sun struggled over the foggy mountains in the distance.

I looked down at the wanted ads and sighed.

“How about Oklahoma?”

Martha frowned, cleared her throat.

“There is no Oklahoma child.”

I laughed. Surely she didn’t think it it so.

“Granny, there is an Oklahoma. ” I said, as if I were talking to a child.

“Oh sure. Believe your history book. There ain’t nothing of use in Oklahoma girl. It’s all cows and dust.”

And oil. I told her this and she gave a throaty laugh then coughed.

“What you need is a husband-‘
I stood up, balling my fists.

“Granny I don’t need nobody.”

“Everybody needs somebody. ”

I sat down dejected.
“Why can’t I go? There’s money there, there’s men there!”

Martha rocked for a minute.

“There ain’t none here? Darling you can’t keep a-running from your problems.”

I sighed. “I’m tired of Tennessee. I can’t be like you. I want to see the world.”
I leaned over her. “There is an Oklahoma…it’s out West.”

Martha shook her head. “Child. Your future..is here.”
She tapped my chest. “That’s where you’ll find your destiny. There is no Oklahoma.”

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