20: the day Heather Lochtie made purple stars with her thumb

after the english storm
everything changed

puddles instead passed back memories
as it used to be that
in a puddle you could
see the airy birds reflected
or lamp posts or the edges
of buildings

but now in those puddles
after the english storm
that other me I remembered
that me who’d been asked
as a child to depress my thumb
in ink and to make thumb prints
on a cloth so that we could study
our friction ridges
and the teacher scolded me
scolded me soundly so that
all the other children laughed
and she, the teacher,
called the principle in and he
called my parents and my parents
called my grandparents and so forth
because every time I purpled my thumb
with ink and pressed my ridges
onto the surface to form the print
and then lifted my thumb
I made stars, five point stars,
seven point purple stars in ink
one after the other as I depressed
my thumb over and over on the paper
and the teacher scolded me
and the principle wrote something
and my mother said, Heather,
how strange, your thumb prints
are purple stars, one after the next
and my father said
it must have been the storm
that flew in yesterday
the english storm
the one that smelled
of the sea

which is what I remember
now as I see myself in this new
puddle after yet another english
storm, the memory of those
thumb print stars and how
the puddle has shaped me
into that memory
the memory of me
as I must have appeared
as I pressed my thumb
onto the paper
and watched myself
making stars

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