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Days of Jelly and First Blood

Dear ___,

There was abundance in childhood, when the plums hung down from the six trees on the eastern side of the yard and we'd eat them straight off the trees like birds do. They were pale red and yellow and mashed on your tongue; the skin lingered in your mouth like a bitter disappointment and they were no match for candy.

Funny that I associate that tiny orchard gone wild with the day we broke the Roadrunner jelly jar on the yellow linoleum of the kitchen floor and mom was on her knees to clean the mess while I cried over the loss of my favorite jar and favorite cartoon. She gathered the shards and wrapped them in a few paper towels, handed them to me and told me to toss them in the woods behind the plum trees, out by the rusted lawn mower. Our yard stopped at that lawnmower (who knows where it came from or how long it had been there?) and we dumped cooking grease and scraps there. This was a lesson for me in letting go and I dried my eyes and ran, awkward, proud and sober as a child in my work, (grown-up work in short pants and striped shirt) across the yard and under the plums, throwing the paper-wrapped jelly-covered shards deep into the woods, the pleasure of throwing being totally primal for boys of any age. I was ignorant of the nature of glass and skin and when I emerged from that orchard, licking the jelly from my fingers and palms, I tasted my first accidental blood.

I was a dreamy kid and didn't realize I had cut myself until my mom took me by the shoulders and led me to the bathroom with the peroxide and the Band-Aids. Such was the abundance of those days.




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post #382
bio: blaine
perma-link
4/19/2006
12:04

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