La Sala de Mi Niñez
I didn’t know I loved the way the sun
shined — so warm and bright
through those windows the most,
softened by the white lace curtains
that would dance with the breeze.
I knew I loved dancing, pounding
chubby little feet against the smooth
hard wood floor that was so clean
I could see myself in its reflection,
just the same as the ancient black box tv
that had encompassed the wall.
I’d forgotten how much I wore
out the same two CDs in that
old CD player.
I didn’t know I loved the mess
of brightly colored toys,
scattered across the hardwood
floors, ruining their pristine
for a moment,
the pristine that carried onto
the white walls, but again
was disrupted by the art
and photographs that were
put up with love.
I didn’t know I would also love
the other cracks in the pristine.
All the half-finished projects —
the blankets, hats, and scarves,
stuck to the sharp knitting needles
haphazardly tucked away into a basket,
the brown plush reclining chair,
that reclined too far back then and
still does now. Even now I love it
still, alongside the brown wooden
and leather, rocking chair from
Costa Rica, engraved with images of
wagons, flowers, and birds, with a
foot stool engraved with toucans to match.
I’d forgotten I loved those pillows
made from the mismatch patches of
fabric that adorned every chair and couch,
but also served as steppingstones for
the hardwood floor that would become
hot, molten lava. Their companions
were handmade dolls meant for
decoration, but in my hands became
companions for playing.
I didn’t know I loved how many
VHS tapes there were in that wooden
cabinet that housed the CD player.
I once loved going through every single
one, the tornado that was me finding
the kid’s movies and the treasured
home movies that we’d watch on
the grainy black box TV.
I didn’t know I loved the sound of
Spanish cumbias softly breaking through
my overplayed Hannah Montana or Backyardigans
CDs from the kitchen, the smell of something
warm and yummy always coming in with it.
I didn’t know I loved the smells of that
place — the Royal Violets and Daisy perfume,
the floor cleaner that always needed to be
replaced, the talcum powder that always
came after a bath — now I love any
reminder of them.
I know that place is still there,
but I’ll love the version
that’s lost to time the most.
I know I will love the memories,
but I don’t know how to love
what’s left anymore.