Before Writing an Essay for English: November 15 1991
by Helen A Companion
Sunday, March 03, 2002
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Tonight Iím supposed to write an essay about my childhood. Iíve been asked about it before;
for everyone else itís a normal question,
they donít have to try and remember things
in coherent flashes. I used to try to explain
the slideshow of images, but people tell me life isnít that slow.Now I just shrug.
The strawberry garden. Wilting leaves
and flowers.June. Juice on my hands
like blood. The sharp sound of a hand
slapping skin. The doorway. Jim bent over.
Momís hard slaps. Tightly closing my eyes.
Sometimes, even now, mom comes to visit.
Itís not that often, only on Fridays,
and she likes to take me shopping. Jim always hangs back, follows us through the lingerie department, but he never stays close
enough to touch.
Dusty Courtrooms. Mom in her nicest dress.
Dad in a suit. Watching them behind the
stand. A man questioning my mom. The gavel.
My dad taking us away. Me crying. Jim
Now we live with Dad, and only see mom
on Fridays. Itís been ten years. Itís still
hard to remember. But I have to get to that essay, and hopefully, the memories will come back in more than flashes.