I don’t remember going camping
when I was about six.
I do remember heading up into the woods
with my mother and her friend.
I remember asking them to wait a minute,
then being upset
that they counted out a full minute
when I only needed ten seconds.
I don’t remember pitching the tent.
I’ve decided it is purple,
with pink zippers
to match the surrounding foliage.
It is seven stories tall and has spiraling staircases
that make me a little seasick to look at.
My brother climbs the stairs,
but I do not.
I insist on sleeping in the “Grand Room” on the lowest floor
where I can look out the plastic filmy windows
at the six-foot bugs
harvesting hempseeds for their smoothies.
I also don’t remember
the vault toilets
situated three miles away,
on the crest of a hill
overlooking the valley in which the tent is pitched,
or the contemplation,
in my young mind,
as to what that hill was made of.
I don’t remember
drinking the juice of the eight-foot grapes
or riding through the air on the giant parachuting seeds
of the surrounding mutant dandelions
that overshadowed our tent.
I don’t remember being asked what I wanted.
But if I had,
I would have said I wanted to stay home.
I would have said that home is a miracle.
It is filled with more amazing and bizarre instances of life than I could possibly reconcile.
I would have asked for a pebble to keep in my pocket,
to hold me to the Earth.