Do you remember the Cam Jansen book series about a little girl who solved crimes with her photographic memory? She'd blink her eyes and take "pictures" of things she wanted to remember. I read her stories as a girl and remember wishing I had a photographic memory, and making a point to soak in the things I wanted to keep—the sound of my mom singing on a Sunday morning at church, the smell of my dad's cologne when he dropped me off after one of his weekends.
I think that's part of the reason most of my poems are memories. It may also be why I ended up in Memory Keeping at Hallmark.
I thought it would be appropriate for the first poem I post to be a memory poem. So, here’s a poem about transitioning from child to adult.
Peninsula at Raintree Lake
I ran away with Black Beauty
to a pine-tree-lined isle
behind my father’s house,
my back against a pine’s trunk.
Needles stuck through my jeans
and sap glued pages together,
but it was my sanctuary.
I took engagement pictures
between those pines years later—
we leaned against their sturdy trunks,
smiled into our future,
and they shaded a welcome
for our marriage.
I heard they drooped with disease
a year ago and were cut down.
I haven’t returned to see
their remaining stumps surrounded
by weeds and dead needles.
I prefer to imagine them tall,
and me, secure in their shaded shelter.