I remember loving the swans in the municipal pond across the street from the Mamora Hotel in Port Lyautey, North Africa. One night they were strangled by drunk sailors and left dead on the lawn like swooned ballerinas.
I remember deep red Maryland dirt under a log . At the height of a hot summer; I sat against the log, swatted mosquitoes, and wrote bad poems. The red dirt got on everything, even the paper. I thought that was an omen.
I remember looking in the bath house mirror at a public swimming pool, before changing out of my suit. A red faced girl stared back at me, all shiny-cheeked with dancing eyes. I wondered who she was.
I remember hiding under an oleander bush, dressed only in pajamas, at ten o’clock at night while the headlights of the car circled around and around, making my heart jounce with every sweep of its beams.
I remember thinking: this will be forever. (I wonder who created the word forever?)
I remember meeting the brazen black eyes of a young man on a subway. He was a workman in a dirty shirt, with grease on his fingers that held onto the same pole I clutched as we lurched under bright lights in silence. It didn’t stop me from marrying him and having his children before we got to the Christopher Street/Sheridan Square stop.
I remember that an oil painting of a beach with sunset that I did at aged 12 sat on a top shelf of our garage for a number of years, along with water bottles, foot lockers, and gas cans. When it disappeared I don’t remember.
I remember throwing a huge bouquet of flowers against an enameled Mandarin orange wall. Even in my agony I remember thinking how pretty all the colors were against that backdrop.
I remember seeing Swan Lake, my first ballet, and feeling like I just stepped onto Planet Earth.
*with loving homage to Joe Brainard’s “I Remember”
Beverly A. Jackson is a writer, poet and painter living in Naples, FL. Her work can be seen in print and online in over 75 venues. She is the former editor and publisher of Lit Pot Press and Ink Pot literary journal. Her current suspense novel, Blue Lake, is looking for representation.
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