Remembering

As we grow old, we lose the stories.
A life of firsts and lasts are buried in the years –
our first bus ride to school,
leaving our orphaned mothers behind;
the last kiss from an estranged lover;
the missed one that got away.
Only the painful goodbyes we remember.

The years invade our minds most sacred places.
New memories fight against the old.
Antonio Machado says,
“Memory is valuable for one thing,
astonishing: it brings dreams back.”

I want to dream and feel the whipping of grass
against my girlish skin
tumbling on my grandmother’s lawn;
remember each lazy summer day spent
losing ourselves behind her house
with our bellies full of picked blackberries and plums;
feel the freedom of the future that youth possessed.
The good ole days are beckoning me back.

We are promised 28,000 days of stories;
Our books are closing shut on them. Hurry!
We thumb our fingers through the pages.
Strain to highlight the parts forgotten.
We turn down the corners and still we forget.

She who remembers her mother’s face on that Fall Sunday
or the day her brother saved her from herself,
for how long will she hold these memories?
Apart from these stories, who are we
with our past lives in fragmented pieces strewn together?

We are always aging.  The stories are always leaving.

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