My Earliest Memory

It’s a strange thing to
have a scar but
only remember parts of
the story
I know it was cold because
my pajamas were a onsie
Feet covered and zippered all
the way up to under my chin
I hated them
I wanted my feet out and free
It was possibly football season
because the TV was on and
My father yelling at it and
The hardwood floor varied in
temperature and the heavy
curtains were always closed
I think my brother was new to
our home
Maybe a year old
I was fascinated by how
tiny he was
How perfect
Little blonde curls and blue eyes
And I was simultaneously terrified of
the huge wood stove in our
living room
It was cast iron and
fire lived in its belly
It hissed and cackled
and I avoided it like I
did my father
I don’t remember what I did
to him
What I said
Or how I breathed to
anger him that much
All I remember next is my
arm was being held against the
stove and heat was eating through
my flesh
Tears flowed down my face
and a silent cry was stuck in
my throat
My mother frantically rushed
over to put something
on my burn
Later I’d find out it was
I remember seeing the skin cook
off and fall from my arm
Looking into my mother’s eyes
Seeing the horrified pain swimming
in her tears
Hugging her and whispering into
her ear as her hair tickled my
She smelled like baby powder
and lemon dish soap
“I’m okay, momma. I’m okay.”
I whispered it to her over
and over
That’s all I remember
What flashes every time I
happen to glance at it
Or someone asks
It’s not much of a memory
but it’s the start of them all


4 thoughts on “My Earliest Memory

  1. I would hug the child instinctively , there is a lump in my throat. I am so sorry ….this happened to a child and continues to happen to children everywhere. Warmth , love , whatever else I could shower to help the little girl trying to parent the non-offending parent.

    Liked by 1 person

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