I remember sitting on daddy’s lap
my pretty one” he used to say
“give daddy a nice big kiss”
I’d smile, put my chubby arms
around his neck real tight
then plant a big messy kiss on his rough cheek
I remember the first day of
school, boy was I scared
we lined up in the schoolyard
I was the shortest so I stood in front
was everyone looking at the hole in my sweater?
I hoped not
I remember when mommy had a baby
It cried and cried all the time
but that was all right
after all,
hadn’t it been locked in mommy’s stomach
for a long time?
I remember Betsy
she was my very best friend
we did our homework together
and talked about things
like the time when we would be wearing lipstick
and going out on dates

I remember thinking life wasn’t fun anymore
daddy dying, mommy always crying
it just wasn’t fair
I remember being alone a lot
thinking about what happens when you die
about how lonely that must be
but the rabbi said “daddy’s in heaven”
no, he was just saying that to make me feel better
I remember thinking I’d never be happy again

I remember the next few years were filled
with attempts at happiness
join a club! get politically involved!
like to try some grass?
sex means I love you…no,
therapy’s the answer
join the movement!
find meaningful relationships?
I remember being confused
unsure of this enigma called happiness
and I remember the day that confusion ended
the day I met the Holy One of Israel.