Three Things I Will Never Write About

Posted: June 10, 2008 in Uncategorized

I will not write about the time you and I sat in the woods at the end of your road, fourteen years old and brave in that stupid teenage way, learning to smoke and flicking lit matches into a wet pile of leaves.  I won’t tell how, fifteen minutes later, we were back in your room and pretending to only then be getting up for the day and heard sirens wailing closer and closer until they dopplered past your house.  Your street was a dead end; they could only be going to the woods. 

We yawned in our little-girl pajamas and asked your mother what was going on.  “Oh, some vagrants caught the woods on fire,” she said.  We asked for pancakes and plopped down in front of the television, laughing in that stoned teenage way as we watched Scooby-Doo, worried about getting caught but not about whether or not we had done something wrong. 

*     *     *

I won’t ever write about the night you knocked on my door, a toothless woman–a skeleton, really, with hungry red eyes–on your arm and promising to go clean as long as I could get you both through the night.  I will keep secret the way you sat on the couch, twitching and muttering to yourself, while she took my two hundred dollars down to Harlem.  That was the longest hour the world has ever known. 

*     *     *

I will write, “…the over-ripe sweetness of paw-paws in summer, the juice running down our chins.”  I will write, “…the taste of my own flowers in the honey…” and “…he held the knife deftly, his brow furrowed in concentration like a painter before an easel.”  I will say that it tasted like a far-off country and still also like something from childhood.  But I will never write that your secret ingredient was nutmeg, pilfered from the shelf of your Croation landlady and carried across an ocean to flavor my summer.  Your secret is safe with me.



  1. yummy stuff, sarah… i’m reading it as a bedtime snack and it ALMOST makes me not want ice cream… i’m almost satisfied with just these delicious images of yours. you’re such an artist. i thought about you and missed you this weekend at the amazing writers workshop at ole miss – the Yoknapatawpha Writers Workshop… check out my blog for pix and reflections. great stuff. but… i still want ice cream. some things don’t get healed in this life, you know?

  2. kathyrhodes says:

    Beautifully said, without really saying it. Love your snippets that are really long stories and can play on like a movie in my mind. Love your imagery and hints of more.

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