I Might Have Been Five

I remember the smell of my lunch box, the plastic ones with a companion thermos. The smell of sandwich in its ziploc bag and the futility of searching for morsels on the long bus ride. It was a long bus and I sat in the back with my too small coat. I would run up the gravel drive when the bus pulled up to my rural address in upstate New York.

I remember the birch trees in our rather large yard. How I liked pulling the silvery bark apart! It made me think of zebras. I also loved how its leaves looked like twirling coins during autumn. I remember, in the third person, myself running while wearing a brown coat, or maybe it was blue and grey? and pulling along a rainbow hued kite as my father looked on. His hair was jet black at the time and he didn’t have his belly. He looked like I do now, skin draped on bone by virtue of genetics. I remember a white window, and tunneling in the snow. My mother dug a cave in which I huddled.I think I fell out of my bunk bed that night. My mother remembers me smearing petroleum jelly on the old faux wood vinyl wall paneling of our trailer home.

I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to gather the clouds into a jar and hold it forever, captured within the glass, as I soared across the continental United States, leaving the only home I remembered. Now I don’t remember so much; my memory is a box of old photographs, of moments arrested in Time.