Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Poem a Day, #17 (my something, the something)

The prompt is "My (blank), the (blank)" so here's my effort.

My Memory, the Traitor

I learned early my memory can lie.
The memory:
Riding in a car on a summer day,
Riding to the beach on the Housatonic River,
Listening to “Volare,” sung by Domenico Modugno.
The truth:
I was not living anywhere near the Housatonic River
When “Volare” was released,
In 1958.
In 1958 I lived in Levittown, Pennsylvania,
Nowhere near a beach I could be riding to.

In adulthood, my memory worked well,
Well enough to make a living as a copy editor,
Remembering the spelling of a name
Many pages ago,
Remembering the title of a character
Many pages ago,
Remembering whether the word “sychophant”
Had been used to describe the assistant director
Many pages ago.
Memory matched up with locations and years,
As I moved homes or jobs.

Past 70, memory doesn’t lie, it fades.
What is the name of that song on the radio?
The melody and rhythm as familiar as an old sweater,
But the singer, the lyrics are lost in a fog.
I wake in the morning and puzzle out
The name of the day, is it Sunday or Monday?
Or maybe Wednesday?
Why did I come into the kitchen?
Should I have gone to the bedroom instead?
What is the last name of my college roommate,
The author of that great book I read 10 years ago,
The actress who lived across the street,
The Mets pitcher of the playoff game we saw in 2006?
I still remember what my keys are for, but
Not where I left them.
What is to be done?
And where are my glasses?

No comments:

Post a Comment