I remember playing in the root cellar with my older brother,
And sleeping head to toe, two in the bed.
Lightning going through the window of our bedroom, I was two.
I remember sliding down the carpeted stairs of my Aunts home,
And my uncles vibrating easy chair we would all take turns sitting in,
The baby sitters mean kids putting me in the clothes-ironing machine. I was three.
I remember moving to a new house and mom painting it all night,
And running a hose to the neighborís house so we could get water.
We lived on a corner and the rocks would build up in the turn. I was four.
I remember when the black and white T V said the president has been shot,
And my mother cried. I didnít know why but I cried too.
My step dad shaved my head and gave me a ride on his Harley Davidson. I was five.
I remember playing like I was driving the old International pick-up and shifting gears
And it rolling into the fence, I ran away and waited to get in trouble.
Going to school for the first time. Mrs. Barnhurst. She was old. I was six.
I remember when the summers were long and the winters were longer.
And mom baking cookies and bread. And washing clothes in the wringer washer.
I put my hand into the wringer and burned up the belt. Flattened my hand. I was seven.
I remember moving to a brand new house with an acre of land, in the country.
And building roads in the two-foot tall weeds for my Tonka trucks. Life was great.
We had horses and dogs and I got a new Stingray bike. I was cool and I was eight.
I remember the night that my mom got a phone call, and she cried.
And people came and got her and she was gone for a real long time.
I was awake all night, waiting. My father had been killed in a car accident. I was nine.
I am told that I became a problem after that. That I was totally different
And I hated my mom and would not have anything to do with people.
This lasted for quite some time, I am told. I really donít remember being ten.
Wm. Tracey Bakelar