Balsam against the sky

Memories of my small girl, not in order

She filled her mouth with gravel because she liked the taste.

She caught tadpoles in a jar, put in sticks and moss and murky water and saved them for me to look at when I got home, and then we walked to the stream together to set it all free.

She lined up her hundreds of little plastic animals, winding them around the room, while reciting Charlotte’s Web along with the movie, and when she was finished, she started over.

The first word she said was yum, and the second was Coke.

She screamed the first time she walked, the first time she swung in a swing, the first time she saw the ocean, then ran straight for it and did a face plant in the waves.

She imagined beached kelp into Selkie dogs.

She made shrines out of candy wrappers and ceramic cats.

In summer, she had very white hair and very brown skin and liked to sit in a big green bucket full of water.

I said, keep your eye on the ball, and she put the football on her eye.

She ate butter pats, ketchup with a spoon, and those little plastic tubs of half and half they put out for coffee at restaurants.

She couldn’t go to ballet class because the teacher asked her to jump over a scarf, and she didn’t want to.

She preferred her calamari un-breaded.

She preferred her chicken nuggets un-breaded.

She peeled off a lot of breading.

At the football game, when the crowd cheered, she yelled, “Quiet,” because they were too loud.

And once, when she was a teen, and she was unhappy and having trouble, I found her in the basement getting her baby things out of a box. She tried to pull her newborn nightgown over her head, as if she could fit just one part of her through the neck and into the arms. It ripped, and I got mad because I was saving it, but of course, I knew why she wanted to go back.

  1. (posting after logging in to WP–dang logins!) Knows her own imaginative, creative, complicated mind well–and you make me the reader love her for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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