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  • Writer's pictureHaley Heath

I Try to Remember

Lying knee deep in a moss-green bed

I wake up and I am teen-aged.

The river rolls by

renaming my fear of goodbyes.

30 bucks in my pocket says

I can make it to college.

In the meantime,

I sing from musical memory

in simple rhythmic ripples

only to remain chest high

in the sun-deep sea.

I stay here because I choose to.

I try to remember little-girl landscapes:

when I’d listen to lovers laughing

in the shade of the cypress trees,

watching tree limbs shake their leaves,

standing silent and still

beside Burnt Mill Creek,

black butterflies dancing in summer heat,

my father pushing hair off my face,

both of us ink-drawing with salt-sweat

dripping off our sunburned cheeks

onto ink-sketched paper.

In between sketch pads,

my father reads Lorca,

speaking in our first language-

the language of his father’s father.

We speak Spanish under Spanish moss.

We are in this frame together,

bonded by blood.

I try to remember.

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