We roll away from the house in our new car. Our uncle’s aqua ’66 Chevy station wagon. From the flip rear seats our old world goes by. Our new one still to come. The car windows, our road TV. We keep up with the moving van, packed with everything we own. Everything we don’t know we care about most in the world now too small behind us.
The English copper beech tree we see for one last time. A specimen tree where we discovered who’s best climber, told crybabies to go home, they were too little to climb, probably couldn’t get down.
Our house, a village Tudor Mom and Dad try to sell as a ‘package deal’ with the tree lot when we are 3000 miles away. Dad’s company buys from them.
Our fort unguarded.
No turning back when you don’t have money and a somebody who does plants a fast buck. History is leveled. Something strange now where something grand stood. A tree whose whole measure is three cooperating children around — fingers stretched, palms flat, tippy tippy points touching. A rare planet spot with river view leveled in slices to ordinary. Chunks again
st the grain that lean for years against neighbors’ sheds for the hundred conversational coffee tables that don’t get built a mile around in every direction.
Something different in the old neighborhood. With our parents too when we return to live across town near the Links.
Yet today we are on our way. To California. Amnesia settles, brightens our mood. I will not have to share my bedroom with a sister, remember what happened in that room upstairs. Go to a place where tiny white carnations with red edges are planted on hills, my house look just like my neighbors. Where the first week, a movie is being filmed on our cul de sac, and a star asks for my autograph.
“Me? I’m nobody, just the new kid,” I say. My hair curled this morning, my best dress on, Mom’s mascara on powder lids. School uniform in my lunch bag.
(c) M.K. Smyth 2012