Monday, March 16, 2015

SOLSC March 16th - Brother, Do You Remember?

Join me as I participate in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Other "Slicers" can be found among my students in the comments of my class blog. There are also several hundred teachers participating at

Brother, Do You Remember

Do you remember
Riding the broken old tractor in front of the neighbor's,
Going everywhere the inaccurate maps in our heads
Could take us,
The road dust rising with the
Occasional passing car,
Adding a layer to our grime and,
Spice to the smell of summer?

Do you remember
The chain coming off my bike,
As we raced on the same dirt road,
And you didn't believe me
When I said I couldn't stop?
You were surprised and angry
When my bike bumped yours as I bailed off
And landed in a cloud of proverbial dust.

Do you remember
Winning; for once,
When you pushed me into the laundry basket
By the laundry room?
You were lucky dad was there
To keep me in the
Turtle-on-its-back pose
As I fumed in embarrassment?
Do you remember if I got you back?
I'm sure I did
But I don't remember;
I'm sorry.

Do you remember
Dad burying
At the base of the rock,
As our childhood pets died,
And we made crosses from sticks,
Crying real tears into the dusty soil?
Some pets just never returned,
Like Ginger and Horse,
And we mourned their loss just the same
But with less finality.

Do you remember
Our road trip to New Mexico
Racing thunderstorms across the San Juan Valley
In the Toyota pick-up,
The smell of sage, rain and dust
Belonging only to us because of the
Absence of our parents?
At the Sand Dunes you drove
On the Primitive 4x4 road,
Even though you were just fifteen.
Do you remember the guilty joy as
We drank a smuggled Dos Equis
In our hot tent?

Do you remember
Telling me Annie was pregnant
Unsure, scared,
Growing up faster than
Any of us expected?
Do you remember me
Years later, having those same feelings,
Telling you IVF was our last hope,
Jealous of your beautiful daughters and family
In a way I had never been jealous before?

Do you remember
Going fishing for fishless days,
Exploring the world together again
As adults,
Finding that watching sea otters,
Crossing mossy trees high above rivers,
Wearing the same brand of shoe,
For the same reasons,
Bridges the too many years of
Missed adventures?

Do you believe
In the dust of our childhood?


  1. What an amazing post. I felt the scenery, the energy, the sibling rivalry and the sadness. Great memories, told well.

  2. Oh man, I love this. I'm all caught up in the memories and cadence of the writing and you go and throw a gem of a line at the end. The dust of our childhood? That just ties everything up at the end and leaves me thinking of all kinds of things. Nicely done!

  3. Wow, this is beautiful! I enjoyed the walk down memory lane and all the moments that were special for one reason or another. Isn't it interesting the things we remember sometimes? I kept wondering what moments I would include if I wrote this for my sister. Very cool!

  4. Love this - hope you sent it to Ben <3

  5. I want to read this again and again. You captured moments in a dreamy wondrous way. I loved the last line.

  6. I want to read this again and again. You captured moments in a dreamy wondrous way. I loved the last line.