Ode to My Childhood by Sadie Goodman

Morning dew resting on the backyard blades of grass

sends a shiver up my spine from my brisk bare feet.

I feel them running beneath me

Carrying my body to the paint chipped white chicken house

Ready to collect a new batch of eggs.

My fingers curl around a light blue one, so vulnerable and precious.

I lift it to my nose and inspect the ellipse

A simple outline

Which holds a whole world inside.

Soon this globe will pass through the set of French doors

And make the trek to my kitchen

It will drown in blue soapy water

It will be brushed clean of its dirty protective layer

And it will perch on the top glass shelf of my refrigerator, ready to be broken.

You once were this egg, a naïve oval which held your innocence

Inside a dirty protective layer.

You were safe from knowledge in a dark shell  

Sheltered from the outer dirt.

Slowly I have journeyed away from all that you once knew,

Your childhood bed in your childish room and the child that you once were.

But boy do I miss those honeyed days of collecting chicken eggs:

When you lived life with wrinkly fingers and toes

A mermaid swirling like a cement truck to get to your seashell bed.

When grandma lost her contacts

and you were a detective on the bottom of the pool,

When fields were meant for running

Towering oak trees were meant for climbing

and ticks were burrowed in your skin.

What happened to that precious sky-colored egg?

Where did you go?

I think you live inside me, surrounded by pricker bushes

Like the ones behind your old swing set.

Pinched once every passing day

You are almost completely cracked.

Reduced to memory, this yellowed life rests behind my eyes

A distant lens that colors my sight.

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