Saturday, July 17, 2021


 Poem #25

How reliable is memory, really?

What do we truly know

About the events of our lives?

Is there really a difference 

Between whatever you recall

About the day you turned six

And your aptitude in reciting 

A few lines from TS Eliot?

Tales told by an idiots

Heads hollow and stuffed with straw

A shuffling series of images

Like cards flash dealt

By a party magician

Playing his last trick.

That one time you felt loved and safe:

Was it the ace of diamonds 

Or the lowly deuce of hearts? 

Childish fears, the certainty of fault.

Do you even remember 

The color of your mother’s hair?

Could you draw her smile

With this sliver of slate

In a firelit cave?

What species of trees formed

That dense gnarled grove

Behind the house 

Where you liked to hide

Because it was always dark,

Even in the middle of the day?

Could you reproduce your father’s laughter?

Or the sound of your grandfather’s electric razor

That he always used in the living room?

What about the stench of the backyard creek

That reeked of rotten egg effluvia

And foamed white against stones.

Memory is an abstraction

Life is a chimera

That can’t be captured 

Even with a Polaroid camera.

So we turn to poetry

When the strobes of youth

Get too gauzy.

What you lose in accuracy

You make up for in truth.


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