an imagined memory

I was baptized with earth—dirt, actually—
at the unconsenting age of five
in the name of God and Jesus Christ,
both daringly used in vain
by that most unholy of trinities: Jimmy, Steve, and Charles—
my older brother and his two best friends.

They did a thorough job of it.
I wasn’t sprinkled.
I was buried.

Charles got me to lie face down
in the back yard right behind the deck
between the peony bushes.
I don’t remember how.
Told me to count ants? Or maybe to hide?
I was just glad the older kids noticed and included me!

Charles got me to lie face down
in the back yard right behind the deck
between the peony bushes
while Jimmy and Steve carefully positioned
their fully loaded wheelbarrows up above.

I didn’t want to go out back there for months,
and it was much longer than that
before I could look up without flinching.

I did get extra dessert that night—
I still remember it was chocolate sheet cake with ice cream,
and I got to stay up late and watch TV
while Jimmy didn’t get any dessert
and had to go up to his room
right after he finished his homework.
He was punished too.

Maybe that’s why I like dancing outside now—
pressing my toes into earth and feeling it move beneath me—
kicking and lunging—leaping and landing—
packing earth down—with me on top—
spinning and swaying,
leaning and laughing
because I am so alive.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s