Youth takes the higher registry
In cackles, screams, and laughter
Meant to call down parents
And assert strong needs and wants
Because there is no other thing
Than the immediate, the now.
There is no more authentic representation of grief
Than a child who does not realize
Tomorrow is tangible.
In youth I seem to recall
Being able to sing well,
Well enough that even adults would listen.
I like to think it stemmed from my ability
To howl with indignation as a toddler,
Though never with the kind of sheer mad fury as my sister,
Who slipped and ran headlong into a corner,
And became possessed by the furies
At the level of her discomfort.
I can still see her raging eyes,
The little bleeding bruise in her forehead.
In time, the high-pitched sounds fade
As feet become steadier
And minds more sure of themselves.
I would not want to go back to the mad sounds of childhood.
I would, however, happily take back my
Ability to howl out my feelings.
Returning to work I pass a house.
Repainted four times, that house.
I remember when it was white.
What I really remember is the moon –
A sort of full moon
And a few dwindling stars in a sky full of slate.
The sun was not up, but we were.
I felt the heater’s hot air on my tiny arms
And I looked up at the cold moon.
I could not tell you the name
Of the family that watched me those early mornings
When Mom had to go to Chicago to teach,
When I had school,
When Dad was off flying helicopters in a war.
But I remember their maple wood table, deep amber wood,
I remember chocolate chip pancakes.
Dry pancakes, moist chips,
And a sort of full moon.