Can I please see my childhood memories, every little one? I’d like to wrap them gently and snuggle them in boxes; I’d like to know they’re all still there and then send them on their way.
Before I stack them tightly and tape them into cardboard homes, I’d like to see each one up close, dust them off lovingly as they go.
Like: my siblings and our dogs on the sloping farmland lawn; the first day of school and the flush of summer ending with dusk’s sky; I’ll turn them toward the window to catch the sun’s light before setting down and bidding them goodbye.
The trees that spoke to me from five to fifteen, I’ll kiss with treasured love until wrapped in tissue paper and grouped in cushioned bundles. Perhaps I’ll keep those within reach to soothe my phantom ache: scrape of bark and sturdy limbs holding onto me.
Every fight and loud noise, each adult that raised his or her voice; the hallowed space in my chest whenever I felt not enough; and sitting on the stairs as others were allowed to play — I’ll spread them on the floor so they lose their mighty spark and I’ll soften all their edges from my kneeling perspective before I stack them with the rest.
Shouts in the courtyard as recess forced group play and the ache in my head with each memorized thing to say — the books I read and poems I wrote to imagine it all away. I’d simply color-code and coordinate in bins I’d bought the other day.
All my childhood memories and there’s too many piles to categorize. But: It’s all going into storage right after I inspect them with my loving, hindsight eyes.