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 here.”
She tapped my chest. “That’s where you’ll find your destiny. There is no Oklahoma.”


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