There is a cassette tape somewhere with my three-year-old voice telling the story of Jonah and the whale. Toward the end of the recording, I asked Grandma why she was recording, and she said “for posterity”. The recording continues with me asking what is “posterity” and Grandma telling me that it means for the future, and for memories, or something of this -but for the 33 years since that recording, every picture I’ve taken, or memory I’ve written down has been “for posterity” with a giggle and a nod between me and Grandma.
So. because I keep writing them down, here are some snapshots that probably only five people in the world will fully understand, and sometimes, maybe just me.
When I was a kid, we had an elephant
my sister, 3 cousins, and me
We found her waiting quietly in Grandma and Grandpa’s Jungle
Among the pine trees dried oak leaves, and fluffy dirt
Covered in needles and sap
Poison oak around her ankles, but we knew to steer clear.
That elephant, I don’t recall her name,
Took us on grand adventures
On parade -in flight – we had seen an elephant fly
Magic carpets flying alongside
Carrying us to Africa and India
But unless you looked closely
and listened to the stories of children
You wouldn’t see that elephant in the trees
Patiently waiting for the next adventure.
“Did you see?”
“The boys next door?”
“They’re naked again”
giggle. “What are they doing outside?…..On the rope swing?!”
“Don’t they know we can see them?”
“Why would you swing outside naked?”
“The least they could do is hide in the bushes when they drop.”
“They don’t seem to want to hide.”
“Then why are we…”
The Good Pens
Class, it's time for school
ruler rapping, paper shuffling
Grandpas reading glasses on the tip of your nose
How come you get to be the teacher again?
Because I'm the oldest.
What are we learning?
Cursive. Always Cursive.
But not with Grandma's good pens.