23 Jul 2014

First crop: memory


Dad's first crop of runner beans, picked today, topped and tailed and strung, ribbon sliced and cooked 'al dente', seasoned with butter and pepper. They are the taste of memory, of 1960s childhood summers in South Wales, of caterpillars and the scent of cabbage leaves, sunburn and prickly heat, shell gardens assembled in sand-filled fruit boxes, rose petals soaking for days in water and hope, the three-legged race, a drindl skirt in turquoise seersucker never completed in the last year of Junior school, a new leather satchel, Tuff shoes. 

The years compress: a squeeze box of sounds, some as distant as echoes, others like the ringing of a school bell demanding attention. 

And this one now that arrives like a breeze: a purple swimsuit with a red stripe, the sun beating on my shoulders, the sand hotter than burnt toast, and the sea so far out I think I might never reach it. Or find my way back.

sunset over the sea
I remember when my mother
ran faster than me

Hungry Writing Prompt
Write about going home.