A collection of childhood memories
Baby teeth marks on long floppy ears. A teething relief in the form of a Bunny Rabbit. A symbol of Grandma’s love.
A black button nose, no longer attached, lost in Mother’s deep piled rug. Brown glass eyes, scratched, having witnessed my first words, steps and potty training. Memories of my youth stained on your body, from when I tied a string around your dainty paw and dragged you around the playground. Your whitetail is now matted and tainted yellow. Your fur has gone crusty from all the times I wiped my tears on you.
Mother tried to wash you, I feared you would drown, so, I hid you away.
I called you ‘Mr Bunnie’ And treasured you like a friend, my 1st friend. Like a personal diary, you listened and never let me down. Now, you live in a black bin liner above my room. You no longer sit proudly on my bed. Like a secret I keep you out of sight, replaced you with real friends. Your lavender smell that helped me sleep, has been replaced by mothballs that clump in your fur. Your threaded smile that brought me joy has come astray.
A feud antidote
I used to hate my brother, who tore off the heads of my dollies. Our first pets made us form a solid alliance. A pair of fluffy gerbils called Gizmo and Holly.
These frisky critters stopped fights over the remote. When they had offspring, a dozen fluffy fur balls, we called a truce and decided to share.
The living room walls offered delicious delights, as I cupped in my hands a daddy long legs, which wiggled and tickled me. My brother lifted the lid, but I hesitated. My brother gave me words of wisdom, ‘They only live a day,’ The insect bounced off the cage walls, until Holly pulled off its lanky legs, one by one, and gnawed on its body like corn on the cob.
Theirs were the first deaths I knew. Gizmo died of sex exhaustion. Holly suffocated in a tube her bulged eyes stared at me. Mother’s solution a fluff ball chinchilla called Furby.
My 1st bike
When I was nine, I rode my first bike; a flamingo pink bike from Mr Timpson’s pick a mix selection.
Our garden became my 100 ft runway. Dad pushed me along, I picked up speed, then with one final push, he let me go. I wobbled like a new-born calf as I steered around the apple tree, but landed with a thump on the grass. The aroma of rotting apples made me heave. Dad picked me up, ‘let’s try again,’ he said with a smile. I tried again and again. Fuelled by determination and a need to make him proud,
Tears blur my vision as I watch my father give his groom speech at his third wedding day. A father I don’t recognise. One, I associate with abandonment.
Inside I’m still that girl on her bicycle, waiting for his approval.