Tag Archives: memory

Crown

my hair holds memory,
I know this because

i cut my own hair today




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her, at ten.




as i held the ends

in my hands

i said

 

did you touch the Merced with me and my boy?

i said,

do you remember my father?

and my other precious loss?

i said,

do you remember the first dog?

i said,

were you here when

i still loved

and was loved?

i said,

you were there when my mother was so near death’s door

i said,

and when i found and lost,

and lost and found, my Self again?

smiles
sighs
cries
laughs
rage
wail
and
song

i still have possessions from all those times

and places

but no skin,

my skin long shed, my bone resorbed

and renewed over and over

but my long hair is still me from many years ago

that is why hair is so precious,

i thought,

this is the genesis

of what i have always

mistook as phobia

but no,

i know today

that

physical memory is held particularly, and only, in my hair

more than Samsonian

or vanity

or femininity

my long hair

is

my body
my health
my energy
my sensation
my emotion
my years
my identity
my essence

thank you

for growing

for remembering

for showing

for staying

for flowing

for tangling

for blowing

for graying

for glowing

for floating

for knowing

with me

all these years

 

no more cuts
without ceremony

and
i promise
i will never agree to lose you

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le claire [street]

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A clear glimpse
A clear thought
on this clear June night

Of age,
and Alzheimer’s
An old-timer’s disease

A clear memory recorded and archived tonight
An acute awareness of myself
tonight, in time and place
a new track to play on loop for a listener in my future life

a husband, friend, or son
a caregiver, a kind one
a visitor, volunteer, or nurse,
a grandson, or maybe, no one

A reddish dog, eating mulberries
from the sidewalk in shadows
Mottled concrete in the dim light of a city street lamp
obscured by the canopy of that beautiful, June, fruit tree

A woman, middle aged, seems so young, even a tad pretty, in her mind’s eye
Stretching her still strong body upward for plump, dark berries
Reaching for branches trimmed too high by the urban foresters
or arborists or surgeons, I forget what they’re called

On her tippy toes
grabbing, pulling, picking
squeezing the dog’s leash between her thighs
don’t get loose in the dark, don’t get skunked in the dark

Some of the best ones are lost in the awkward tussle
before she can palm them, save them, taste them
She triggers a reverberative rain from boughs on high
That precise, delicate sweetness of the bounty in her mouth

The dog’s belly full of the ripe windfall
sustained by both gravity and woman
His name was Woody, or Digby, I think
He used to climb into our sleep

Smashed and whole
The street, sidewalk and cars stained
by the impressive purple mess
the dark grass hiding perfect treasures for doves tomorrow morn

She and that dog
Always urban foragers and gleaners in June
All month long, her fingertips, heels and lips
tinted with their fuchsia dye, didn’t think to check his paws

A clear, melancholy recollection
This day, that day was also her son’s birthday
The first birthday he spent away from home, Nebraska, or Alaska, I think
That glorious tree, that good dog, that golden boy