Our street, 1981
The sun is bright today.
Mommy says, “Let’s go for a walk.”
We hold hands and step outside.
My pigtails are so long now
I can see the curls at my shoulders.
The warm breeze blows through my sundress.
We say hi to our neighbors Reverend and Mrs. K.
They are very old and their grandchildren live far away
so they pretend Sister and I belong to them.
Mrs. K always has something for us.
She gives us sugar cookies
light as snowflakes
or warm peach kuchen with coconut
so sweet and good.
They tell Mommy what good girls we are.
We say goodbye and keep walking.
Mommy gives me a quarter
shiny in my hand
and I feel the bumpy edge.
I can buy whatever I want at Mr. P’s Grocery
a little white store at the end of our street.
When we step inside
it looks dark for a minute
and then I can see rows and rows of candy.
I look it all over for fun
and then pick my favorite Sixlets, same as always.
I love the crunchy shells with the soft chocolate inside.
Mommy lets us choose a soda.
I put my quarter in the slot
and push the button for Milde’s cream.
Soda tastes so good from a cold glass bottle.
I like to squeeze the bottle cap in my hand
until it leaves little curved marks.
Mr. P tells us goodbye
but I get bashful and just wave.
We eat our candy on our way back
to our yellow house.
Palm Sunday, 1981
Mommy took our picture
outside our yellow house by the yellow daffodils
before we went to church.
I have a pretty peach dress and my sister has a dark blue one.
I wore a special bracelet with little charms
each one a commandment from the Bible
the ones I’ve been learning in Sunday school.
I like God’s rules
so neat and shiny
on my little silver charms.
Today we all went together
and I like to hear Daddy sing
so deep and rich
when he’s at church with us.
My sister and I held palm branches
but we couldn’t wave them when we sat down.
We were quiet and good
just like Mommy tells us.
My sister sat in Daddy’s lap and I sat by Mommy.
I watched her cross her leg and swing it back and forth.
When I’m big I want to wear high heels like hers.
She let me look in the hymnal to keep me busy.
I pretend the music is birds on telephone lines
like the ones Daddy works on.
I like the organ sounds
the colored window pictures
and the smell of smoke at the end.