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My Collection

My birthplace was a prairie town,
With snowy quilts
Spread across endless meadows.
The world - obscured
By morning's frosty fog.
The people - shrouded
By shielding scarves and hoods.
My memories are clouded,
Embedded as feelings
In the opaque ice.

In the Big City,
There was a time
Of Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes.
My Kingdom was a backyard
With a sandbox and a swing
That hung from the regal Oak Tree.
Picket fences marked the borders
of my land
Through which I peered longingly
Into the Unknown
As white paint stuck to my busy hands.

A happy bungalow
Was my next home.
I left it almost every morning
To climb with heavy feet
Unto the cranky yellow bus.
There, I sat patiently,
Watching my breath rise like smoke,
And drawing pictures with wool mittens
On the frosted glass,
Just to pass the aching time.

I entered my new city eagerly,
But it did not welcome me -
Not at first.
There were stares and gawks,
Scoffs and squawks.
And it took me years to see
That these taunts were not from others,
But from me.

And here,
Here, I found the unexpected dawning
Of future dreams.
Here,
I walk barefoot on the beach,
My private paradise.
I collect shells
As I have collected memories.
My feet plant firm prints in soft sand,
But I look ahead,
Glancing back only briefly.

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