Monday, May 13, 2019

Runaway Memory


behind the library
that used to be the grammar school
where the old yellow bus
cranked open its doors and
spilled us out like
so many windup toys from a bucket
there’s a patch of mowed grass
smothered in bluets
and dotted with white violets
surrounded by pine trees
I clearly remember sitting under
with Donny and Raymond
my two best friends
since none of the girls would
play with me given I was fearfully shy
and dressed in the fringed cowgirl
skirt I got for Christmas
instead of a twirly skirt with crinoline

many of the venerable pines have fallen
since my school days
their brick colored insides scraped by a foraging bear
looking for grubs, maybe
(I saw the claw marks in the soft wood
and the dark distinct mass of its calling card
in the grass at the top of the knoll)
Pine Knoll they called this place
the stretch of green grass that grew straight to the edges
before dropping off in root-gripped cliffs that fell to the swamp
a great circle of grass humps and fetid water I once escaped through
darting off in the opposite direction when
Teacher headed the line into school after recess
sliding down a short cliff and hummock-hopping
my way to the main street before hooking a right onto
my home road and showing up at the door
startling my mother.

She didn’t send me back that day
let me sit instead on the porch swing with my PBJ
and a glass of milk contemplating my deed
I still don’t regret it and only wish escape was as easy now


2beau said...

So, I didn't have to sell my first born!

Friko said...

But it is, it is. All you have to do is make up your mind.
But you’ll need more than a glass of milk afterwards.

Some memories are pleasant, others not so much, and mainly because we can’t forgive ourselves for being the people we were.

Pauline said...

I guess you're right, Friko - I can still escape if I set that 8 year-old mind to it :)
I liked the person I was at 8 better than the one I was at 30 or 40 or 50. I'm more content with my 73 year old self now though.

Tabor said...

A little girl who knew here life was becoming more restricted as the school years piled on and she had to take that one last chance for a grab at freedom. I am the same age as you and require energy these days to grab at freedom.

Pauline said...

How I loved learning but how I hated being confined to a classroom or a school building. I still feel the same about being indoors too much. Only time I was ever bored was when i was confined inside at school or work and didn't have enough to interest or occupy me. And yes, more energy is required nowadays!

Wisewebwoman said...

I love your way with words (as you well know!). How you capture the moment here. I did the same thing at 6 but was sent back, no understanding, a stressed mother with a toddler and another on the way hoping for a respite from my endless whys. I questioned everything. Still do. I must have been exhausting.

But I do escape now and again even if it's only in my mind sometimes.


Pauline said...

WWW- I was an exhausting child, too. And I still question everything! My mother had neither driver's license nor car and my dad was working so could not come home to return me to school. Hence, my reprieve. The walk from school to my house was close to 3 miles so by the time I would have gotten back to school it would have been time to board the bus home!