I remember Billy Searles jumping up to kiss me on the cheek
Because I was so much taller than he was.
It was out on the playground.
It was my first kiss; full of embarrassed pleasure.
I remember hating family drives every Sunday in Connecticut.
I remember visiting Disneyland right after it opened;
It was Christmas. There was a magical swan carriage
Full of Dickensian-dressed carolers.
I remember swimming in Waikiki with a smashed finger
That I had to hold
Up over my head
Out of the turquoise water.
I remember Harriet Hohmeyer and I
In the woods between our houses
Taking turns jumping off the weathered teeter-totter to
Send the other one crashing down.
I remember that my sister bit her nails down to the quick;
Everyone said she was nervous.
I remember dragging unbelievably prehistoric-looking horseshoe crabs
Out of the water on Jones Beach, then letting them go back.
I remember Pooty hiding under my parent’s bed and
My dad using the curved handle of his umbrella to
Drag him out by his collar.
I remember wishing that Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were my parents.
I remember pedal-pushers and poodle skirts and white bucks
And pin curls and saddle shoes and black flats.
I remember the disgusting odor of my sister’s used menstrual pads.
I remember holding hands with Steve “Lyle-style”.
I remember happy, prickly butterflies inside me.
I remember the smell of Steve’s white shirt when we
Slow-danced to Johnny Mathis downstairs in the rec room after
Everyone else was asleep.
I remember my mother yelling at Jean when
She scorched her expensive green and white wool
Miramonte High School pep skirt,
And I remember that, even though I was the young one
Who was in trouble way more often, I said,
“Mommy, she didn’t mean to do it.”
I remember licking red candied apples till the crust was
Thin enough that I could crunch through it
For a cinnamon-sweet bite of apple.
My sister ate cotton candy, which I thought
I remember watching my sister disappear into the fog, walking
Down Tacoma Avenue on her way to
Thousand Oaks Elementary School.
I remember asking my mother how soon I could go to school.
“When you are five.”
I remember thinking I was three and so
It would be infinity
Before I got to go with her.
April 29, 2016