Once when I was little,

I plopped myself down

In the favorite chairScreenshot 2017-01-20 at 2.36.02 PM.png

Smiling and giggling.

Soon I felt your arms

Picking me up with ease

As you tossed me across the couch

And quickly took my spot.

 

Once when I was little,

We stayed up late to watch TV.

You would replay the movie,

Showing me the same scenes

Late into the night

As we held our stomachs tight

From the pain of laughter,

Showing me what funny meant.

 

Once when I was little,

I would sneak into your room.

Wandering around your grown up things

Black lights, a tarantula, and incense

Nets, and albums and instruments

You sometimes caught me

And chased me up the stairs

Fast at my heels

 

Once when I was little,

You went out for the night

Dropping piles of records on my bed

Before rushing out the door

Assigning certain tracks

For me to assess

My little girl records temporarily stashed away away

To learn about what music you loved

 

Once when I was little,

You took out your electric kit.

Connecting wires and wires across the room

Spending hours setting up the obstacle course.

With the lights off you challenged me to find my way

In the dark I crept and crawled, felt my way around each wire

Hoping the buzzer wouldn’t sound

But it always did.

 

Once when I was little

It snowed up to the roof

You dressed up in your warmest clothes

And dug twisted paths with connected rooms

Working in the cold for hours.

I helped as much as a little girl could

We stayed in that fort for what felt like days

A special winter space that we both could share.

 

Once when I was little

I watched you play in the band

There you stood on a stage

Belting out solos

Or floating over the vocals

While all of the teenaged girls screamed.

At school I became a celebrity, too

Simply by sharing your name,

Never by playing as well.

 

Once when I was little

I went to bed on a hot summer’s night

Flipping my pillow to cool my face

I fell on the verge of dreams.

But stirred when I heard

The gentle thud of a glass jar

I opened my eyes to the small summer lights

that you had caught just for me.

 

Once when I was little

We flew to your home on the sea

For a few days you showed me around

We walked on the beach, and drove along the shore

We visited the classic sites

You shared that world with me

Until it was time for me to go abroad

You were the last one to say goodbye to me

 

Once when I was little

It was my special day

I dressed up all in white

And wore flowers in my hair.

I tucked my arm under your own

You smiled at me before we were on our way

You guided me down the flower-strewn path

And gave me to my groom

 

Now I am no longer little

Many years have passed

We have each watched

As our own little girls have grown

Many new memories have been made

But I still remember

I remember

Once…when I was little

 

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