I started this after reading Bill Drummond’s 3″ x 1″… Took me a few days to come back to it to fill in a couple of missing pieces.
I’ve read another telling
of childhood adventures,
scenes that once might have been described
as idyllic, bucolic, picturesque, unspoiled.
One of many.
The stories vary in their detail,
and sometimes in tone,
but the times are always simpler,
innocent even when world-wearied,
and imbued with the sweet scent of nostalgia.
It is here, after the vignette about dropping wayward worms
back into the safety of the garden,
or the episode of the foul ball landing
in the junkyard guarded by the meanest dog in town,
that I understand:
My parents were different.
Whatever stories they had,
they chose not to tell.
They’d offer stray bits from time to time,
but these went unexplained, disappearing back
into gaps which themselves went unnoticed
because they’d always been there.
I never knew the difference.
Now some of what’s left behind is labelled,
but whether the photos are crisp and clear,
creased and yellowed,
blemished, or torn away,
they add points on the timeline,
but no connecting tissue.
Instead, my folks quietly slipped out the back—
leaving no biography behind.
(2/9 January 2022)
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