Sunday, November 8, 2020

A Child is a Poem You Learn by Heart

I think I was about 4 years old in the photo on the cover of my book.  I am seen standing close to my mom, clinging to her.  At that time, I was not living with my mom.  I was living with a family she found by posting an advertisement in the newspaper for someone to take care of me.  This photo was probably taken on a visit.  I know that because of the location.  The photo was taken in my aunt's yard.  There are other photos taken on the same day that show me with my cousins.  I don't specifically remember the taking of the photo, but I remember those visits with my cousins and our adventures playing in the yard and in the little patch of woods across the street from their house.  

We played our childhood games, tag, hide-and-seek, Mother-May-I, or jump rope, whether the temperature was sweltering hot or whether it was so cold our hands turned pink. When it rained we splashed in the puddles and made mud pies. We gathered sticks and built what we called houses, forts, or castles. Then we walked together to the dime store where we bought penny candy. That was a treat that we didn't get every day, and we really enjoyed it when we were lucky enough to have a nickel or a dime to buy candy.  When it was time for us to come inside, we always bargained for just a few more minutes.  We were reluctant to leave that exhilarating feeling of freedom running and playing in the woods.  My cousins were my siblings on those visiting days and the outdoors became our world where imagination ruled the day.