The first memory of Mom

[We’re going to try something, the psychologist said.

Tell me your

Favorite

Memory of your mother.]

It’s my earliest

Memory

Of her.

It’s at our old house,

The dark brown house.

It’s a summer morning.

My mother

Mom

Is in the garden in the

Back yard.

And I come out the

Back door,

And I run

Toward her.

I’m probably about four years old.

I am barefoot,

And the grass is

Wet with dew.

The sun is bright and warm.

The sky is completely

Blue.

The air is still morning-cool

But you can feel it will soon get hot.

I’m laughing

And running past the

Apple trees

Toward Mom,

Who is in the garden.

She is wearing jeans, and a blue t-shirt,

And a bandana triangled around her

Ears and face.

She stands up,

She rises

Out of the garden,

And is smiling at me,

As I run

Toward her.

The sun,

The sky,

The warm air,

The grass,

The trees,

The smell of soil,

It’s all

Awash with

Mother-love.

It is

Love.

All of it.

God,

Maybe.

[Do you get to her?

Do you reach her?]

I don’t have a

Memory of

Reaching her.

[But what would happen next,

If you could create?]

She would step out of the

Garden.

She would walk toward me

In the grass

And catch me up in her

Arms.

We would both be

Laughing

In the sunshine and air,

Under the leaves of the

Apple tree.

[What would happen next?]

I would say,

“I love you,

Mom.”

[What else?]

Then my

Dad

Would be there, too.

And my

Brother.

It would be the four of us,

And maybe our old collie dog,

There in the summer yard.

[And then what?]

Then her brothers would

Be there.

And their wives.

My cousins.

Her grandson, my son.

Her parents would be

Off to the side,

Next to the house,

In the shadow,

Out of the sun.

They would be watching,

And smiling,

And waving to her.

[Anyone else?]

Her students,

Friends.

We would all be there,

Crowded into the yard,

Surrounding her.

[What would happen?]

We would

Gather her up

With our hands,

All of us touching her,

And we would

Lift her toward the

Sun and

Sky,

And she would lay back on our hands,

And she would be

Smiling,

Smiling,

In the

Warm sunshine.

[Good.

Good for you

For weeping.

Finally.]

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