This I Know

Christine A. Brooks

Even if you are given two mothers, eventually both of them die. I’ve learned that puppies turn to old boys and leave us, and no matter how tightly we hold the hands of the boys we love - they too vanish. 


I’ve learned that despite what my 9th grade teacher, Mrs. Laflamme, said, I never once used geometry and that, sometimes, even teachers can be wrong. 


I’ve learned not to run with my surfboard leash attached to my ankle because, no matter how cool it looks on television, I will inevitably fall and splash awkwardly in front of whoever may be watching. 


Perming my own hair with the too-small pink rods in 1985 taught me a hard lesson that took many weeks of chemicals to correct. 


To let go of all things that no longer serve me: my eyelash curler, the red pumps I adored, and my sister. 


Sometimes it’s better not to know the truth of beginnings. Learning that the man I believe to be my birth father is in prison for life for many, many, violent crimes against women would test my faith, push me to the brink of my beliefs, and force nightmares into my casual dreams. I learned that not all stones need to be overturned. 


Looking right to cross the streets in Ireland and knowing pedestrians do not have the right of way has helped me avoid many close calls. 


Life has cadence, but no hard-fast rules that can be calculated in advance, and that going with the flow does not make me less responsible. 


The faux hawk was a mistake, as was my marriage; both were fun, but neither practical. 


Lessons can be learned and relearned, forgotten and remembered; and I am my own true North.  


headshot b and w.jpg

Christine A. Brooks is a graduate of Western New England University with her B.A. in Literature and her M.F.A. from Bay Path University in Creative Nonfiction. Most recently a series of poems, The Ugly Five, are in the 2018 summer issue of Door Is a Jar Magazine and her poem, “The Writer,” is in the June 2018 issue of The Cabinet of Heed Literary Magazine. Three poems, “Puff,” “Sister,” and “Grapes” are in the 5th issue of The Mystic Blue Review. Her vignette, “Finding God,” is in in the December 2018 issue of Riggwelter Press, and her series of vignettes, “Small Packages,” was named a semifinalist at Gazing Grain Press in August 2018. Her essay, “What I Learned from Being Accidentally Celibate for Five Years” was recently featured in HuffPost and on MSN. Her book of poems, The Cigar Box Poems, is due out in late 2019.