I remember eight things about that yellow-brown day.
I remember the square leaded panes with wiggly glassy
waves that made the garden outside look dizzily concave.
And that I was awash in the scent of freshly cut pine,
so sharp and morose that it made my nose sting and my
eyes blink as if I were struck by a burst of sunlight.
And I remember dark shadows that hid objects set
deep into small wooden nooked niches, they’d glint wet
in the light just as I’d squinted against the scent of pine.
And that we were talking. I felt safe and I was loved.
Dad was doing stuff, and I sat next to him on a very tall
stool with uneven wooden legs that tipped whenever
I moved. But mostly, I remember that my words
were stuck. All of my consonants stuck, they bounced
on my tongue like a Ping-Pong ball struck sidewise
by a paddle of static. My brain stammered and bounced,
and there was a tiny sheen of a tingling feeling that
seemed to wrap me in gauze, and I couldn’t stop –
I was an engine in idle, going nowhere – consonants
jumping and bouncing and refusing to fall from my lips
like all the other words had done before this moment.
And I remember that Dad turned, lowered himself to look
into my eyes, and he shouted with red-faced fury,
“Stop that! Don’t ever do that again!”
And I didn’t. I never stuttered again. Curiously,
I don’t remember why that day was yellow-brown.
Perhaps yellow is the colour of stuttering consonants,
and brown is the scent of cut pine.
Written for: Miz Quickly’s Day 9 prompt: Color Now
Look around you. Write down the first color you notice, and the second. That is the title of your poem. Write about yourself as a child, and use those two colors as a point of reference.