Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows”—John Betjeman.
–my childhood smells of cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla…
chocolate chip cookies.
sweet butter melting on the stove.
i evaporate into plush- pink- carpeting.
i smoke Marlboros because I think I’m cool—think I’ll live forever.
i get grounded for smoking. Two weeks at a time. Two long weeks writing poetry, reading Sylvia Plath, and carving boys names into our wooden bunk beds.
Bruce. Matt. Dave. Whatever.
Kay and I share boyfriends.
she gives me her leftovers.
because we share everything.
they all love Kay.
beautiful high cheek-boned, pouty lipped, soft spoken, Kay.
… but nobody loves her more than me.
our mother is a stay at home mother. A Saint. A Goddess.
she stirs, mixes, and bakes before we get home from school.
she is the Leave it to Beaver mother. the Partridge Family mother.
she cranks Patsy Cline on the old stereo on weekends.
“Now that’s a voice,” She always says.
she dances around the yellowed linoleum in bare feet,
pink toenails, pretty peddle pushers.
once, when Kay & Mother were arguing about curfew, she sprayed Kay with the sink hose because she couldn’t reach her.
Kay stood soaked & sobbing.
i don’t think I ever laughed so hard in my entire life without peeing my pants.
i tell Kay all of my secrets.
for example, when I lost my virginity to some no-named- long-haired jock just because I had too much Lambrusko.
and she told me about her first time, too. No big deal. No fireworks…but at least she remembered his name.
sometimes we danced in the kitchen on 65th avenue.
Mother turned up Patsy to full volume.
she’d twist & turn & twirl–
her hair smelling of Aqua Net against our faces.
and Kay & I spun round & round to “Crazy” with the Goddess.
while chocolate chip cookies melted in the oven
while soft breezes billowed thru windows
while time stood still.
Our Dear Kay was Murdered by Mike Peterson 1 year & 35 days ago. Nothing remains the same without her. Nothing.
Read More About Kay Here: In Memory of Kay
~~~For support and more information please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.
click here NOW : http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/
Click Here to Donate to ( DAIP) Domestic Abuse Intervention Prevention in Duluth: Click here to donate.