How I Learned This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 10, 2011
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Desert born, I was my mother’s first.
Whisked to Wisconsin’s cold before
I could remember
leaving father behind.

I remember building wings.
Mom pierced fantasy with
words of reality.
sturdy cardboard held hopes high
until I jumped.

I remember little pieces of junk.
Milk jug rings
squares of smooth clear plastic
and the cardboard
oh the cardboard!
I remember rolls and rolls of scotch tape,
my magical adhesive.
I was scolded for the “waste.”

I remember
fidgety chairs.
Metal and… I don’t even know what.
Wood, I guess.
Chairs that could never seem to hold me
and my fidgety self
from daily trips to the office,
or my worried
from the carpet there.

I’ve never known longer hallways

If they’d heard my joke,
Surely they’d agree it was
worth telling,
but conversations
looped and lost points
I gave up.

I remember asking ‘why” to myself,
about myself.
All the time, I remember.
The questions rolled
like I rolled, those nights
I remember finding answers
that I swore I’d never tell.

I remember a year with Aunt Rachel.
Scrambled eggs for breakfast
after day.
No meat could spice such repetition.
Late-night snacks
littered crumbs on laps.
Twice my size,
I can’t empathize.
Funny how their diets gained me weight.

I watched life
Chip, chisel away,
chunked into charts.
Schedules ruled days
as she
curling these soft hands
into rebellious

I remember a certain little girl
made up the best and worst times
of my life.
Five feet of fury
and jet black hair
dragged me deep,
stretching heartstrings to
Emotions suffered blows at fifteen,
I remember

Hormones flowed
thieving more clothes
from skin
than the wet summer heat
in that small upstairs
How could I forget?

Black Converse flats
slapped lies
to small town sidewalks
that they’d never leave

but they did.

I remember being young
and wishing for years
until years came.

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