I write of things I keep:
soul-ache in boxes with hope,
and family troubles in nesting dolls,
and trauma with Worry Dolls under my pillow.
when I was eight years old.
Everything in my childhood happened
when I was six years old-
-or eight, or nine,
but- I never place memories
I was in second grade and I lived in Seattle.
* helicopters * whirlygigs *
I remember my teacher had a curly mess of–
–auburn hair, and was mean to me.
I was misunderstood.
I couldn’t let
the insides out
my peacock bruises.
I put my memories
in a treasure chest made of hydrangea
petals I collected when I was a fairy pink and soft
and I buried them in the backyard.
In the backyard with the hydrangea
bushes green and blue puffs of white–
–and the cherry tree.
(Mother of Switches)
One time I got to pick my own.
I was afraid of picking one too big.
I was terrified of picking one too small.
Small like I was.
Welts live in the chest of petals
with the hurt
and my memories
My mother did not keep him with her
and she did not keep him with me
and my mother.
She did not keep me–
I kept motherly care in my first purse
lost in a seafood restaurant in idontremember
I kept motherly love in a barrette
lost at Goth Night–
–Embers on my birthday.
I write of things I’ve lost.