WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL

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When I was a little girl, I wanted to fly. I would hop off the ground like a broken toy.

When I was a little girl, I went to a friend’s house and looked around for their books. There were none. “Where are all your books?” I wondered. Our house was full of books. My father built bookshelves out of white pine planks that warped in the middle and the books fell off.

When I was a little girl, I collected keys. Skeleton, mostly. I kept them in a tin box. My father took me to junk shops and let me buy rusty old keys. He told me music had keys and that deadbolts didn’t. He said there were keys to the kingdom. One time he got so mad at me he said he would lock me up and throw away the key, and that frightened me more than anything he ever said. Once I found a key in the dirt outside an old barn. It fit into a padlock on the barn door and it was like opening a tomb.

When I was a little girl, I’d lie awake all night, worrying about squirrels in the attic and my father hurting himself. One time, I got out of bed and went downstairs and discovered that Dad was awake. He was full of worries, too. Together we went outside, listened to the silence, and watched the sunrise.

 

© 2018 by Alice Blanchard