Farewell Childhood


It’s hard not to think
of a place where dogs met
their fate on railway tracks
or in unkempt backyards
where a father with chapped lips planted
tulips around a dying cherry tree
where a mother’s screams scared
dust and kids into dark corners
where children watched T.V.
in the garage – why in the garage? –
where they played with a wheelbarrow
inside, and paper cut-outs
outside, yet they lived in town
it’s hard to ignore
a fact like that

I can only think of it here
facing the sunny Golan heights
with hummingbirds punctuating
my glum memories with gaiety
and cows’ mooing filling up
the deep valley of the past
a flying ant above my head
a white falcon perched on my thumb

if I thought of it there
where it all happened
I’d turn into that
silent child again
and never come back
but I’m here now
I have opened the windows
to let the landscape in
and the childhood out.


(Sabine Huynh, published in the poetry magazine As It Ought To Be)

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