Kids Who Left the Village - Aisha Baum

Knotted ribbons that could turn a bath water brown flow through the forest air

strung to the witnessing spruce and haphazardly hung tarp of kiddie village,

the children’s section of the Rainbow Gathering. With celestial aromas reeking from teepees and tents where both men and women emerge with pupils and arms wide, my baby sister twirls her fairy wand twisted with twine and the soft tips of pine, a crown of lilac braided wildflowers falling across her bangs—the flashing of her innocent grin vacant of its front four baby teeth


you’ll remember you


mother chants, her hips that once cradled us circulating a duct-tape hulu-hoop that sticks to her dreadlocks so thick they could produce their own sap. She carries herself this way into each night, a stumbling gyration of restlessness, while I wonder where we’ll be taken the next sunset, what my sister will eat before bed in the damp tent, and if she’ll sleep through thundering echoes of the bonfire drum-circle three tents down


you’ll remember you


and we wake each morning held hostage by the level of gas in the Subaru, to mother asking if the sun tea has darkened yet or where we last placed her oil pastels, focus lasered on painting the paradise sky as if it didn’t set each day; as if grandma cursed her with the name Dawn, only learning how to begin and never end,


but that was 2002 and the sky feels suffocating and colorless now.

Two steps to the left west on the map and a comforting state line of separation

from wherever she is parked along the highway


you’ll remember you


like magpies howling a foraging song in the background of this bleak routine:

direct-deposits, extending to-do lists, scenery changed only by a scheduled out work-week, a full-fridge yet empty of energy to muster tonight’s meal.


I begin to understand the implanted dreams dragging me from accepting my own

by the fading yellow beneath my fingernails after clawing toward the sun for too long.

Yet mother forever follows the dissipating mist of rain while never having experienced a drought,

forbidding solid foundation and therefore denying herself the growth that follows

nourishment of the soil—detached, & unearthed from all possibility of being uprooted,


lead by her own exodus in hardening mud that engulfs two childhoods.


But you’ll remember you right?

Aisha Baum - As the child of a hippie mother always on the move, Aisha Baum learns to plant roots through writing. She obtained her BA in English from Black Hills State University in 2019. Through rigorous studies, she achieved her undergraduate degree solely on academic scholarships, and has since moved to Steamboat Springs, CO, to ski champagne pow and write in the clarity of mountain air. Her work has been featured in the Three Peaks Review Literary Journal and South Dakota State Poetry Society's "Pasque Petals". She was also a finalist for the “Love What’s Real” Idaho State Poetry Contest and the Stuart Bellman Writing Contest in 2017 and 2019.

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