Vince Imbat

The Very First Memory

May 21, 2023

I raised my head to look up at the roof of our house but what I saw was the sky—light blue, almost lifeless. But then you began talking to me, and for a child as little as I was, this was everything. And so even if I didn’t know your name, I talked back to you as you squatted there over thin sheets of iron. I remember calling you Doctor, after a game I just learned to play the day before. I was little, sitting on that short bicycle I am not sure existed. I was in awe of the house you were building with my grandfather, and I hid under the gumamela shrubs and the large kamansi tree in terrible fear. What came before this memory, I am not sure of. Was it even a memory? All I can remember, all I am sure of, was that on that day, when I raised my head to look up at the sky, the heavens opened up as wide as the morning and your voice came like a dove baptizing me on the waters of dreams.