I remember mere fragments of my childhood.
Ice storms that quieted the day’s regular patterns.
Practicing the violin as I looked out at the ice and snow and saw cold everywhere.
In second grade we learned about clouds. We looked up every day. Talking with God. Without language.
Lilacs, purple, abundant, outside my window. The bunnies and the cherry trees.
In the summer heat of Illinois, the smell of the chlorine at the large, crowded, noisy, public swimming pool.
The taste of the wetness as I stayed under water looking at all the white legs kicking. My first kiss.
I don’t remember when I learned there were legs of many shades or when I wondered why I only saw white legs there.
Maybe it was in India, 5 or 6 six years old. Attending a British Catholic school run by white nuns. I am the only white child. And Jew.
At 14, I wondered about Jesus and reading the New Testament. An act of independence, searching.
When did I feel shame for my body, being a woman? I don’t remember when I became a feminist. When I became angry.
Or the moment I understood that mental illness and patriarchy were interwoven.
I ran after my mother’s tennis balls. Now she is attached to the couch.
(When did I start to slow down, have trouble getting up off the floor, or taking my first steps in the morning?)
When did I fall in love with you?
Sitting on the beach and watching you pray to mama ocean.
I remember my big dark hair, curls, depth, wild. My hair is grey. When did that happen?