I Ask My Students to Remember and I Am Still Writing Long After They Have Left the Room
I remember being surprised when the saw
came up to meet my face,
by the log truck in my lane,
by the sound of a storm cloud cracking open,
how the rain stripped the roses from the vine.
I remember screaming when I saw my own blood,
when the truck wouldn’t swerve from my lane,
when I realized part of me was dead
and part of me alive, when I was overwhelmed
I screamed, and I screamed when I panicked,
and once I screamed for joy.
I remember the smell of ozone after the lightning strike,
the faint whiff of skunk on the wind,
the landfill in the distance. Then the smell
of orange blossoms filled up the valley. When
I came in from the snow, the smell of
peach pies on the stove.
I remember the first time after that time
I was afraid of the dark
and it occurred to me
there might not be a God,
that the soul and the breath and the moment
might be all I got this first time,
this only time.
I remember dreaming my father was alive,
that I could fly, that I still
lived in the big house on the hill.
I dreamed the silver fox, the golden dog,
and I dreamed the yellow spider on my sleeve.