Posts Tagged ‘memory’

One Return




like a book

that always falls open

to my favorite lines—


this memory of your crooked smile,

your open hand

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for Amy Irvine



I didn’t know then we were lucky,

that day when we rode down the hill

on the sleds with our kids. They were cold


and crying and reluctant, and the hill

was small, and the thrill was mostly

missing. And I remember you saying,


“There will be a day we look back on this,

and think how easy we had it, how

silly we were to think this is hard.”


And I remember not quite believing you

as our children continued to scream and

whine, as we dragged them inside and


removed their soggy mittens and boots

and socks that had fallen around their arches,

as we made them hot chocolate and


talked in the kitchen about sleepless nights

and two-hour tantrums and the loss

of time to ourselves. How could I have known


that twelve years later, how sweet that looks,

how innocent, how fun, the kids banging

on the piano, their hands sticky, their faces bright.

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Once I knew it by heart,

that song about leaving

the earth and traveling on,

but tonight, I just hum

through the verse I’ve forgotten,

grateful the tune still knows

how to find me, grateful

to still have lips, breath.

Grateful to be a traveler

here, my feet still finding

the road.

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We are perhaps like neurons

that never touch—

but that doesn’t stop

the chemical buzz,

the lightning charge,

the electric thrill

that leaps the gap—

and in that span

all meaning is made,

long red ropes of memory

twisting and knotting,

braiding, unbraiding,

and nothing

is ever the same.

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One Bite of Finland

eating dark rye bread

the taste of joy

thirty years ago

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One Unforgettable




still trying to erase it,

that memory, though I threw out

the chalkboard long ago

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The heron flies away

and its great blue wings

touch the surface of the water.

For a time, after the heron

is gone, the twin concentric wrinkles remain.

If you leaned far enough, you could

see your reflection in ripples,

your image warped by the memory

of flight. The water

returns to its stillness,

your face again your familiar face—

but that is not the way

with all memories.

Sometimes, we

never see ourselves

the same again.

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One Return




like a book

that always falls open

to my favorite lines—


this memory of your crooked smile,

your open hand

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One Return




calling me collect,

that bum of a memory

I kicked out years ago

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November 26




No one will remember that this is the day

that my son and I stayed home

and he watched movies and I

met deadlines for work. It was the day

that I didn’t finish drying the apples,

the day I didn’t listen to a single song,

the day no snow fell in the yard.

It was, however, the anniversary

of Howard Carter opening Tutankhamun’s

tomb in Egypt, still virtually intact.

It’s still a few months from the day

he’ll discover the inner burial chamber—

for now, he is still ablaze with the thrill

of beginning, hopeful he’ll find

the sarcophagus. Does he know yet

that it will be made of solid gold?

The world is ripe with beginnings—

even in this season of dying and cold,

there’s always so much left to discover,

so much we do not yet know.

Eventually the movies are over and I finish

my article about Tuscan architecture

and my son and I again begin. No one will

ever remember how this is the day

we spent hours together at a table

with a puzzle fitting the thousand pieces in.

But I am still ablaze with beginning,

still in the thrill of his youth. I don’t yet know

where our lives will go, but I’m giddy

on laughter that only we two can hear,

the rest of the house quiet, no bells,

no shouts, no hum of the fruit as it dries.



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