Tuesday, August 19, 2008
It is six a.m.
I step out onto the porch and the sunrise is barely
a pink-orange strip beyond the trees.
I consciously breathe deeper. Exhale. Inhale.
Try to saturate my body and mind with this perfect season.
Yet, I know these days are too soon gone.
I find myself wishing there really was a way to go back in time...
There are lots of places I would go.
I would go back to my childhood summers
on County Farm Road.
I would play army in the ditch once more with
my brothers and sisters-
throw dried corn cobs as make-believe grenades-
get itchy and dew-covered -
as across the neighborhood,
the porch lights began to glow yellow.
Then my sister and I would go in
and have a bath as deep as we dared to make it-
sharing a tub of bubbles
and an old twin size bed.
We would sing into the old gray window fan,
pretending we were movie stars-
sending our off-key voices
out into the starlit sky.
I would sit at the old Formica table-
with its red and chrome chairs-
and eat my mother's goulash.
And I would look at my mom
and try to memorize her-
try to embrace her sweet voice and weary eyes-
attempt to savor her smells and her touch-
and I would watch her cook
and help her sweep
instead of playing outside.
I would ask her what she would like
to see me do with my life
when I grew up.
Then I would ask her what she always wanted to do with hers.
I would go back to the last Christmas that
I believed in Santa Claus.
And I would fill my heart with the magic and innocence-
so that I would never forget
ever let go.
I would go back again
just to trick-or-treat one more time-
To have my paper sack so heavy with loot
that I would have to turn around and go home before
I finished the entire route.
(And this time I wouldn't even stop at Mr. Rainey's
because all he ever gave us
was an apple anyway.)
Going back, I would hug all my brothers and sisters
and tell them I love them.
And in our secret club house somewhere
we would make a blood-pact
to never, ever lose touch-
to never let "growing up"
get in the way of our
I would go back to a time
when my dad was smiling
and I would watch him all day long-
etch to memory
the things he said and did-
and the way he looked.
I would save all my pennies
from the time I was school-aged
till far into my married life,
so that when the time came
I could take my sister Barb to Hawaii
before she died.
I would eat more broccoli.
Participate in gym class.
Attempt to understand Algebra.
Take more pictures.
Keep a detailed diary.
Not care what other people thought.
Be more thankful.
Have more fun.
Ride the roller coaster.
Learn to swim.
But, I have no regrets
because the days that are gone
have led me to today-
a place of contentment and happiness.
I have great memories to look back on-
an an imagination
that will let me dream.
I have the sunrise.
The love of my family.
And the little porch
from which I ponder...