Some say it’s peculiar that I remember so much of my first few years of life. But things like the burning of a hand, or the birth of a little sister, stay with you forever. I remember helping to pin Delma’s cloth diapers around her butt, and, later, pulling her toes to make them pop. I’d smile and say, “They ain’t long enough yet, Sis. I’m gonna he’p ’em grow.”
I remember putting a pot on my head to make Delma laugh when I thought she was dying.
And that pocket knife Ike gave me when I was two? It came in real handy in first grade.
This train has its rhythm going now and the passengers have settled in. Most are trying to sleep just to make the time pass. I lay my head up against the hard window and watch as San Antone starts to slowly slip by. I close my eyes to see if I can nod off like everybody else, but it’s only an idea. Sleep is knocked out by that presence in the seat next to me. More memories keep nudging me, crowding me up against the ropes, where none of my boxing defense skills seem to work. No, these are stronger opponents. They jab my chin, then power punch me in the gut. It’s more painful than a broken nose. They make me remember.
Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper by C. Dennis-Willingham
Daily word prompt: Peculiar