The Family That Walks on All Fours

Not in America land of the upright citizen where families never look down but always forward toward the ever unfolding, always amazing, never limited future. Our children can be anything: the autistic boy around the corner will go to college and graduate with a degree in Drama, the girl next door has already begun dancing with the Atlantic City Ballet Company, my own son’s name is listed on, his weight, height, how many sacks, fumbles, chances at a division one scholarship. The family that walks on all fours was found in Turkey and was fought over by scientists wanting to fit them into flow charts of the evolutionary process and make names for themselves in that process, an international inquiry into scandalous behavior, payoffs, broken rules about Research Using Human Subjects. The world looks on amazed at video of their awkward bear crawl, fingers splayed, hips rocking, heads looking alternately down and ahead, down and ahead, smiles ripping their faces like grimaces. What would one day be like that for us? To be more intimate with the ground we walk on, get our hands dirty, our noses close to what is kicked up by the person ahead of us? On my way from the porch to the car, I look closely at the grass, the section that has been worn to packed dirt that no amount of seeding and watering ever revives. I squat and place one hand palm down; in this position, it’s almost impossible to look at the sky.

Laura McCullough | Mudlark No. 32
Contents | Elephant Anger