One day they'll ask when I started saying "y'all". I'll tell them of the freight train that rumbled by at night and the derby cap I never wore. How I waved it high as I jumped the train in men's knickerbockers and saddle shoes too large. Headed off across the country to see the rolling prairies and the red rocks. I'll tell them of the window that squeaked on its way down and let in the chuggachugga late-night soundtrack and a soft, warm breeze. My ipod, Bob Dylan, the moon, and I. Freedom is the rush of wind against your face, leaning too far out the window, and the ripple of fields under the stillness of the stars.
"No, really. When did you start saying 'y'all'?" They'll ask again, impatient with a time line that folds into itself. History that doesn't run straight. I'll tell them it's all a circle. When you hear the sound of the freight train at midnight, jump on, head south and then west. Listen carefully and love harder. Find the rivers that made their way through the rocks. Pay attention to the sunrise and the sunset. It's all a circle.
When I say "y'all", I hear that freight train. And I'm free.
And one day, they'll understand.