Lying on my back
On thin foam makeshift mattress
Combed cotton coverlet close to skin
Sounds drift on summer breeze
Familiar voices and foreign ones float
Interrupted by distant staccato airplane motor
Eyelids heavy I drift
Comforted by nearby walls
I peer upward to glimpse sky
Viewed through mosquito netting
Quivering green leaves shuffling overhead
Squinting in bright green-blue refracted light
Inhaling synthetic scent of bleached white plastic
And clean air and baby powder
Falling downward into cavernous
Chilled by air
Warmed by sun
Until squeaky springs
Jar my body
Casting rest aside
What’s your earliest memory? Dig deep. Maybe you cannot.
Sounds (music in particular), scents or tactile encounters sometimes trigger memories long since squirreled away of places or events. Browsing a flea market, I leaned in to look closely at an old pram. A whiff brought this memory from my infancy or earliest toddlerhood. I can be sure of my age because the pram in our family could only have held a child not much more than a year old due to its relative size.
The scent of white plastic and age drifts in the summer air unleashing a rush of pictures.
I lie on my back inside my pram looking upwards, its half shield shading my blue eyes from the bright sunshine. The thin mattress and squeaky metal springs that support the frame beneath me cushion the ride. I reach a hand to touch the white mosquito netting that protects me from insects and makes me feel safe. My eyelids fight to stay open, but the motion relaxes me.
While only fleeting, the memory remains steadfast—resurrected from the archives if only for a moment.