The Things You Remember

A mint-green cotton dress
With stains on the front
Where the goose knocked you down
And sat on your belly until Mama saved you
It was auntie’s wedding day
And now you were all dirty
And what would people say?
At 4, who gets dirty at 4?

Grandpa leaning down to your ear
Oh! He was a big, wonderful Irish man
Old Spice and pipe tobacco
Lifted his monstrous arm to the sky
He pointed to the soaring hawk
Except you think he said “hog”
With feathers and a screeching cry?
And since when do pigs fly?

White, cable-knit tights
Patent leather shoes
Sunday best, always in a pew
Then to Grandma’s for Sanka and Seven-up
Pink and tan and chocolate Keebler wafers
Sadness–no one ever picked the vanilla
At least not you

The stuffed animals in your bed
How you rotated their proximity to the center
So they could take turns sleeping next to you
You didn’t want anyone to be ignored
On the perimeter
To have hurt feelings
To get cold

You used to wake up in the middle of the night
Frost inside the windows and under
Your fingernails and on your lips
Smothered under a ton of blankets
And a red coat with smelly faux fur
Who wears a coat to bed?
You did
I saw it
I remember it
Like it was me



Inspired at 4 a.m. by a beautiful poem There Will Be Things You Do  by Kim Dower

16 thoughts on “The Things You Remember

  1. I’m really bummed my comment didn’t go through. I guess that’s what I get doing WP before I get out of bed. Maybe I dreamed my comment, or maybe I didn’t hit send.

    Regardless, I LOVE this piece. It’s sweet and sad, and I picture a beautiful little girl with an angelic smile and sorrowful eyes. Very melancholy.

    Layered, so many layers… Like cake, like Shrek onions, like sugar wafer cookies…

    And still not wanting anyone to feel left out.

    You are an absolute angel. Love you. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, love!
      Thank you for taking the time to come back- I absolutely hate it when I lose a comment.
      You are so good at “seeing” everything. This piece was so organic as it flowed from one memory to the next, using location and time as a bridge from one year to the next.
      I didn’t even see the theme of not wanting to leave anybody out until after I hit publish. What’s that saying? “Can’t see the forest for the trees?”
      YOU are the angel – some might say guardian angel;)
      Love you! xoxoxo


    • Thank you, Diana.
      I don’t write much poetry, but when I do…it’s over here hiding.
      Between your prompt of family and the poem linked below, the piece wrote itself.
      Thanks for hopping over and indulging. xo


  2. The goose, the Grandpa, the Sanka…great scene-setting with things to smell from dirt to faux fur. I would own this voice, since it is your own sweet signature. Maybe move from third-person to first. Make it personal as only you do:) I’m glad I landed here at your sweet poetry spot. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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