Innocence Lost and Found Part 3

In Innocence Lost and Found Part 1 and Part 2, I began describing the year I spent in a small New Jersey town when I was eight: Cool Walter who claimed me with his kiss in the woods behind the baseball diamond.  My upwardly mobile and disappointingly racist mom.  Jealous Melinda, rich Nancy.  African-American Cassandra being treated like a contagious disease in Nancy’s pool.  I got in with her mostly because I couldn’t swim, partly because I couldn’t bear to see someone’s feelings hurt, and, well, I had liked Cassandra in the first place, DUH… 

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Innocence Lost and Found

When I was eight, I did a brief stint in prison.  By “prison” I mean a small town in New Jersey.  Don’t get me wrong; there were some lovely things about that town.  It was the pastoral small town of times gone by, with only two main streets, a lake in the middle, and the kind of safety that permitted third graders to roam unattended.  But unbeknownst to me…

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Pretty Girls, Phallic Symbols and the Mysterious Human Brain

I don’t know why, but I wrote my first poem when I was six.  It was an ode to female beauty that started, “Her face was the color of peaches and cream, with strawberry juice in between.”  Not exactly subtle, huh.  Born already of stories about blushing princesses and sleeping beauties that so shape the young lives of women.  I say women and not girls because I think that the images and parables of such stories, though created in youth, last for a lifetime – even when we decide that we don’t want them to…

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Breast Milk and Burgers

 My first food was breast milk, and I hope yours was, too:  A finer cuisine for an infant just does not exist.  Add to that the fact that it is usually served up by a chef with soft arms, an hypnotic heartbeat, and loving eyes, and I feel quite fortunate to have ever feasted at such a deli.  In fact, the bonding that occurs with nursing is the start of a person’s ability to love someone (‘attach’) later.

But as was typical of the times, I soon moved on…

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