My first walk is also my first memory—
On the purple carpet, in the living room
Of that bungalow in the suburbs built
For the soldiers who returned from the war.
One parent directed me towards the other,
Who waited with open arms,
Both of them smiling, encouraging,
My brothers on the stairway cheering. No,
I don’t recall if there was music playing
Or if an uncle was filming that historic
Occasion, I couldn’t tell you anything
About the Cold War outside or how
The country was about to collide
With itself—you wouldn’t ask me then
About what would become of us:
One parent’s exploding heart,
The other parent’s vanishing mind—
I don’t even remember if I made it
To the other side without falling:
The only thing I can say with certainty
Is that, between one parent and the other,
I somehow stood up and stumbled into my life.
Pittsburgh Quarterly is now accepting submissions for its weekly online poetry feature. PQ Poem is seeking poetry from local, national and international poets that highlight a strong voice and good use of imagery, among other criteria. To have your work featured, send up to three previously unpublished poems in Word or PDF format as well as a brief bio to email@example.com
Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but if work is accepted elsewhere, please alert us.