I Remember; I Don’t Remember.

I remember a time of innocence, of trust flowing from me like nectar, drawing those around me closer and closer until we were as one being; of guilessness that kept the world orderly and unchanging around me, for it was never required of me to remember a lie; of unstinting love for the light in mother’s eyes, for the dark anger that hovered at times in my father’s voice.

Girls in Washington Square FountainI don’t remember what that anger looked like, or where its palpable origins could be found.

I remember a time of joy, of unending laughter that seemed to ring above me in the air, and I could breathe in mirth that filled my skin and brought my hands to grandmother’s face, where I could trace in the intricate web of lines around her mouth a history of a people’s happiness writ upon her face.

I don’t remember how she died, or where, or how she would have liked to be remembered.

I remember a time of waiting, of expectancy pulsing through me like blood rushing to meet the emptiness of a wound; of falling from great heights of time uncertain of its duration, unsure if I was falling up or down, expecting something, someone with no name bringing anything I could ever want.

I don’t remember what it was I waited for, nor could I say for certain whether it was a gift or a curse, or even if I hold it in my hands this very day.

I remember a time of brokenness, of something deep within me left incomplete; of hurried, blessed nurturers whispering secrets to one another, saying incomprehensible things about tomorrow; of incandescent waters rippling waves of emptiness inside, at last to bring a stillness like dawn in distant lands.

I don’t remember when it was, this brokenness or loss, or when it was a lofty voice within, without, pronounced me whole.


Lynn Pompa wrote this piece on July 7, 2015, in response to the prompt “I remember; I don’t remember.” in The Tuesday Night Writers’ workshop.