4.20.2011

30/30: day twenty - vacation

day twenty prompt: Write a narrative poem detailing a specific childhood memory.

vacation

so much of my childhood
is a fuzzy blur -
many memories
incomplete.
they say
this is the thing
the brain does
with trauma.

but this memory,
so clear to me -
my 5th grade teacher,
a favorite - a woman,
of course,
whom I idolized
because I could not
idolize you,
pulled me out into the hallway
after social studies.

she was small in stature -
I may have even been taller than
her by that point -
but she said to me
in words so kind,
so tall,
'is everything ok
at home?
did your mother
tell you I called?
don't worry,
it wasn't bad.
I wanted to tell her you
are doing so well.'

now, in the present,
I imagine you back then
standing in our kitchen,
fumbling with the telephone receiver,
slurring a hello,
a 'yes,
she's a good girl.
yes, she works hard.
yes,
who is this again?'

but back then,
so naive, I replied,
'no, she didn't.
she's away right now.
she's on a 28 day
vacation.'

her eyes,
so soft
and understanding -
truly understanding
what I thought
I was hiding,
and she said,
'it's ok.
please know
whatever you need,
I will help you.'

but she
was not
you.

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