by Bella Myers, April 4, 2019

Big White House (Age 3)

One step, 

                two step, 

                                  three step, 

                                                       four step

Up the creaky wooden steps, you go with your short toddler legs
Taking each step one at a time. 

The small red chair that sits on the big white porch, is your place to sit while mom juggles through her jangly keys trying to open the door

The big white house that you stepped foot in every day for the past three years, actually wasn’t that big.

You did not realize that your space mirrored the space on the other side of the wall

Your innocent mind did not care 

This was your big white house

Bella, brother and friends; photo courtesy of Bella Myers

Empty Lots (Age 7) 

Dear Empty Lots, 

Even though you’ve moved on to be a tall fancy apartment complex, I will remember your everlasting presence in my memories. I understand that you had no choice in the decision to house hundreds of people but thank you for being the home of many playful days and nights. Thank you for the soft grassy fields that allowed us to take off our shoes and run free. Kickball and tag will never be the same. The many picnics with the generic red and white plaid sheet filled our open evenings with jokes and yummy food. I promise to honor you by remembering the many memories that my childhood holds. Thank you Empty Lots.

The Alley (Age 12)

Long dusty roads
We covered our mouths when a car rolled by
Careful not to inhale the remnants 

Big blackberry bushes 
Summertime is prime time for the juicy fruits 
The cuts and scratches were worth every bite

Gossip and stories
Our middle school days revolved around the backstabbing 
But the turnabout was always led in a positive direction
The alleys were a shortcut to our next destination 
Shielding us from outside elements that could hinder our peaceful walk

Reprinted courtesy of I Love This Place PDX, a CENTER youth project.