Buttered Walls

The morning after the Berlin wall fell,
I ate cocoa puffs, my husband says.
He was three, just learning to grasp
at the slippery slope of memory, still
too young to know what exclusion
meant, to know what walls could signify.

As for me, I remained stubbornly
unborn, as I would for another three
years, my first memories scheduled
to form in a different decade, in another
scene. This too is a sort of wall, but perhaps
one I should respect, not scale or tear down,
I think to myself, as I set out hot tea
and buttered toast for our breakfast.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #5: Word Salad, which required that the words bolded in the text must be included. Read other Creative Challenge winners. To find out how to participate, go to Creative Challenges.


Dorothy Dickinson is inspired by the feeling of anticipation she gets right before an airplane lands. Her work has been published in Banshee, The Blue Nib, Algebra of Owls and College Green.




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