Memory exercise: “I come from a place…”
I come from a place where nothing was certain.
I lived inside my imagination.
Everything around me I yearned for.
The yearning was deep and constant.
The world stood still in a moment of time. The woods wilted and renewed. The things that men made decayed.
People didn’t have very much. The houses were sprinkled around the swamp and were put together in spurts to fill the needs of families.
We ate breakfast on the porch in the summer. I liked when we had fresh blueberries.
Our front yard was a stand of pine trees that made a bed of rust-colored needles that was always cool.
The girl that I loved lived up the street. I would walk along the dusty road to look at her house. She didn’t like me.
I was always looking in from the outside, blind when I was on the inside.
In the Spring, the winter frost would lift and the ground would get spongy.
In the field in the woods beyond the neighbor’s house there was an abandoned shack that smelled warm and musty. We would sit in it and listen to the rain bang on the tin roof.
From the second floor you could see the tree by the lake where a man hung himself, 200 years before. Somehow we knew about that.
We would catch tadpoles at the bottom of the tree.