The earliest thing I can remember

is the color red.

I can see it in my minds eye.


My mother said it was because

when we lived in Thief River Falls,

around the age of 3 or 4,

I decided to color the white kitchen cabinets

red with a red crayon !


She told me she had me scrub

the cupboard doors

to get the crayon off,


If that isn’t the earliest


I do remember in grade school,

in Ashland, Wisconsin,

looking at the sky,

it was a bright red,

and there was a huge fire across town

I was told.


But in my heart of hearts,


I deeply think I have a memory

of my sister Vicky

being born

and dying a month later.


I was 3 that week.