A Million Ways to Remember

There are a million ways to remember
Each one goes to war with forgetting
How does the slow fading begin of the music you sang
Forte
Dolce
Anthems of your life
Each decade had its own
When I remember I raise my fist
Defiant
In the face of fear of losing
Knuckles dressed for battle
A memory
A shadow-dance
The ones you made with your life
The ones you made with your body
Each season had its own
I watched every move, every step, each glance
And sigh
My sigh echoes yours
You gave me more of you than I remember
Some days I am you
here

Mystery stared back from those deep set eyes
The ones that would soon know
How difficult it can be to remember

There are a million ways to remember
Today I swear I’m remembering each sacred part of you
Every season has its season
Mine is one of remembering

Morendo

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Lines on a Face

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Lines on a Face

Can be read
Stand with me
In the shadows
In the light
Perhaps we’ve forgotten how to be an open book
I wouldn’t speak for you
Because I can’t

Once when I was young
I fingered the rivers on my mother’s skin, stretched taut
Followed the blue pathways on a thirty something’s hand
Felt her age pulsing in her coursing veins
I read age like the blind read a page
My eyes partnered with my child-hands
Teamed up to untangle her mysteries
Heard her body tell the story of a half-life
Plus some

As we sat on a pew that was ours for an hour on Sunday
Nine/tenth’s of the law
And all

In the pews of Methodism, souls lined up to hear
Truth be told
I could not hear hers
Buried deep within her soul

Mink eyes on the face of a fashionable wrap
Thrown over the shoulders of a worshipper
Stared back at me
Two pews up and to the left
I thought of his sacrifice for status and beauty
(The things of nightmares when you are ten)
And I think of that still
Her sacrifices too
Draped in death

I found the mink eyes
Meet my hazel eyes
Frozen
Motionless
Dipped in death
I looked elsewhere and then I looked back

Lips were red
Injection-less
Skin was powdered and rouged
Nineteen sixty something
And hairspray lingered in the air

Life lines
Seek a safe place to preach the stories they have lived

Stand still at the lectern of life

And speak
Face the music

Face it
I cannot speak for you

Once, when I was young
The stories could be read

By looking there
Buried deep within the soul
Clues lined up, from chin, to cheek to brow
To help untangle
The mystery of life lived
Well
I cannot speak for you

I long to read you as a book
Open
To tell the stories that should be read
In the lines on a face

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On Remembering

 

art artwork beautiful beauty
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On Remembering

remember what hasn’t been
yet. Before. Today
remember what the dreams hinted to
in a happy, haunting nocturnal sort of way
of what might come to be
on some other summer’s day
things hope and longing used to say
in breathy whispers
along the lines of could, perhaps and maybe
moments that haven’t had their chance
to live to see today

remember what hasn’t been
unravel next time. Reweave memories from yesterday
remember Wednesday on a Tuesday
and all the things that wait
that ask to be remembered
like healing, birth and death
and poems that take a year to gather line by line
on the poet’s winsome breath

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