chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: falling

found poem: Belonging

some nights

DAK self 1983In her last few years, my mother began falling out of bed, as if the compass of her dreams spun her wildly, the roadmap of sleep littered with boulders and quicksand. Perhaps the insult of the fall drove it from her memory, but she never reported fear or chases in these nights, simply that she would find herself cold and alone and confused on the carpet. Within hours her thin arms would bloom with bruises, not painful, she said, but terrifying in their sudden purple tint. This didn’t happen often, but enough that we eventually put a rail at the bedside, a fence to keep her safe in the pasture of sleep.
. . . . .
DAK self portrait, 1983

fall…

the back steps in happier timesDuring the time my mother was away, when I was about 4 (before the photo), a woman named Henny came to the house to take care of me while my father was at work. She had short, pale hair and seemed very old. I don’t recall how we spent our days. We didn’t have a television, so probably there was coloring and books and playing outside, whatever that might entail.

Our house was built on a slope, the front door at street level, the back of the house perched above a full basement. A door from the living room led to a narrow deck and a flight of stairs down to the patio. One day I fell down the steps, the sharp wood knocking at every part of me all the way to the bottom.

I wasn’t seriously hurt, but when my father came home from work that evening, I was waiting eagerly to tell him about my fall. He laughed. This was not the response I expected or wanted, or, even long after, understood.

It’s one of the things I would ask him about if I had another chance.

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