Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

What is your earliest memory?


What sparked this off, is when talking to a friend
Four or five days ago, I asked, “What is your
Earliest memory?” She paused in thought
And appeared not to have an answer, at least
Not an immediate one. And the conversation
Moved off to something else.

Outside just now, reflecting on other matters,
An image came to me that may answer my
Question for myself. There may be one or
Two memories which stand for answers and one
Can settle for one of them.

I traveled to my birth home a number of times
Over the years of childhood. Always on my own
With my mother. I certain my brothers never
Accompanied us. I can’t say why. They never
Later reported any memory and, since Mother
Was a painful topic for the three of us, I never
Mentioned my experiences in the country of
My birth.

The childhood home was in Rockferry, which
I remember to be a delightful place. I have
Always liked buses, and the myriad colours
Of the double deckers from the various towns
And regions seemed to congregate there.

Red, blue, cream. These colours overall.
No stripes or anything. How old I was for
The following memory I cannot say but
The behaviour suggests quite young indeed.
Readers can decide for themselves.

What sparked this memory is, that while
Musing, as I have been doing for some days,
Pondering on weighty decisions affecting
Me and others far into the future, my
Eye was caught by what appeared to be
A window cloth cleaning the inside of a
Window. Quite small. But then the cloth
Appeared to hold stationary for a moment
And I thought, no, no one cleaning a window

Would hold steady in mid clean. I adjusted
My vision to make sense of what I was seeing
And saw that what I had thought a cleaning cloth
Was in fact a set of leaves with their underside
Towards me, gently swishing in the breeze, which
Is light in this part of the world. And intermittent.

*     *     *

When we sleep as young children we settle down
Blissfully. Those who love us dearly are around
Us and houses, homes, seem secure and cosy. We
Feel secure. Bedtime stories may be read, but
Always at tucking up in bed will be a goodnight
Kiss accompanied by some phrase such as
“Good night. Don’t let the bugs bite.” We
Never ask about this but feel that this is
The signal to enter that comfort of a world
Remote from this, untroubled.

I awoke one night to a tapping on the window.
I imagined that someone, a girl perhaps, was
Tapping on the window with a metal lipstick
Cover. I don’t recall whether I called out or spoke
Of it next morning, having drifted back to sleep,
Feeling there was no danger.

Whatever the case, it was explained to me,
By my maternal grandfather, but more
Likely my grandmother, that the noise
I had heard was of a tree branch tapping
In the breeze against the window. I would
Imagine that those trees line the road still
To this day. But I haven’t looked and I don’t
Intend to.

Malcolm D B Munro
Wednesday 15 June, 2016

Filed under: Arts, Media, poetry, songs, stories

3 Responses

  1. ZurkPoetry says:

    This is a poem to be treasured.

  2. […] For a poem as this writer did with, What is your earliest memory? […]

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