What is childhood? What does childhood represent to me? Can childhood be represented by our memory of a relationship? Can the memory of a person define our childhood? Can we keep a person alive in our memories and also in doing so our childhood? Our vulnerability? Our connection?
2 years ago my brother passed. He was the person I shared most of my childhood memories with, a person I strived to impress, sometimes to be, sometimes to overcome. The memories where he swims; are the ones I keep tight hold of, to keep him alive. Childhood was not easy, it was a time I wanted to run away from, to outgrow but it was also a time where I can replay my memories of a person who I love. In this poem I recall my pain and longing throughout childhood for the life I wanted to have; how much I wanted to be close to my brother but never got to be because of childhood barriers. I keep him alive in the recalling of the moments we did get, I feel his embraces when I need to, I can see his hands, feel his thumb stroke my cheek and the words he would use; I find a way to encapsulate a time. Maybe our remembrance of childhood is just that, our way of encapsulating the memories of the people we need to keep alive, for the sake of our innocence, vulnerability and longing. They keep one another alive.