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In My Childhood

ISSUE:  Spring 1986
In my childhood I awoke to my mother’s voice
in the kitchen and knew I was someone
cherished, I belonged. I could look out
the window bravely and admire
the silent, drifting clouds
and look down upon the silent street
and lend my presence to give
its character of trees and sky. Everything
existed in itself in my childhood,
as though between the walls of a synagogue
where I could sit identified as the child
who had yet to learn and was willing.

And when I stepped into the street
among the people walking swiftly past me
to business or to their private affairs,
I shrank from the separateness it made of me.
Now as I lie in the breaking dawn,
frightened of the silence around me,
I am fighting panic that everything
does exist in itself alone.


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