20 February 2012


Clasping my mother’s hand, I
walk toward kindergarten’s
first day. The promise of my
education extending
in all directions, no paths
yet chosen except for this
sidewalk connecting home and

school. It is warm, late summer
in the desert, and there are
gaps in this early memory:
where are my siblings? perhaps
my older brothers are already
at school. My younger sister,
though? Where is she? Does she walk

alongside us? Is my mother
pushing a stroller? It is
my memory, I suppose,
and maybe that’s why these ever-
present siblings aren’t present
here. In my mind, in my story,
it is a quiet morning,

my mother and me, a rare
flash of alone-together.
I look up into that blue
sky, its immensity as huge
as my potential. An air-
plane, silent and distant, writes
a message in the sky. And

this I recall distinctly:
So sure of what I would learn
that first day at school, I didn’t
ask my mother to read me
the skywriting. Perhaps this
was the beginning of
conscious growing up and

growing away, the separ-
ation of self from parent?
In my double naiveté,
I was certain of two things:
I would be able to read
at the end of the school day
(as if that were a skill to

master in a single afternoon),
and that the message would
remain, waiting for my
ability to catch up.
Airplanes don’t write in the sky
anymore and while the educated
adult I am today knows
that the message was likely

an advertisement, still
I marvel at the power
of words, especially those
dangling before us, yet
hidden in plain sight, as
incongruous as letters
made of vapor, ethereal as clouds.

No comments:

Post a Comment