a hard remembering

Hampton III Gallery

 Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with  us. – Oscar Wilde

 Memory is the fourth dimension to any landscape. – Janet Fitch

November is a time for memories. Some are   easy and some are not. We gather around tables   or feel the tug of past meals in our guts. We repeat what we are grateful for and hear the faint echo of what we are not grateful for, that we would let fall away from us like leaves.

In this week’s group, we examined all of it. Some writers wrote about who they missed most or who they missed least. We talked through the scents and smells of our memories, how they all have the power to pull us back in time.

In the pieces below, you will read all these perspectives.

RAIN

The rain, the start before the storm,
the high before the low,
the blue sky to the dark cries.

The nights you could not see my cries inside,
missing the nights we held each other tight,

the nights the drops fell from my face,
thinking about our last embrace,

the rain from the bright blue skies,
no longer is their hurt in my eyes.

No longer do I need your embrace.
The rain has done, erased.
LB

***
MOTHER

I remember the sting, the burnt, bone-deep,
crackling hum deep in my lungs,
held breath prevents my death
in your last attempt to erase me.
I forget the hot leaden pillow clumps and heavy sleep,
broken by hands I must forgive.
I remember hammer on bone, your
crow of glee at the sullen crack
and my cry, wrenched from me
when a beating no longer forced the sound.
I forget learning to write with different fingers,
broken by hands I must forgive.
I remember Christmas lights that wouldn’t,
my fault somehow, and bloody
ribbons of my skin clinging to
bulb shards when your madness passed.
I forget the long, itchy winter healing my skin,
broken by hands I must forgive.
I remember the taste of horsehair plaster
and coppery blood, chalk and cheese
in my mouth as I spit out eight
baby teeth and a piece of the old wall.
I forget chewing on only one side of my mouth,
broken by hands I must forgive.
I remember the ache of water, chlorine’s flame,
fill my nose and mouth with
darkness, cold and dank and
pneumonia “mysteriously” contracted.
I forget waking, vomiting water, they said I died,
broken by hands I must forgive.
I remember standing alone, the only
human being not paid to attend
your burial and graveside service
able yet to find one burning tear for you.
I forget the tune the bagpiper played so badly,
broken by hands I must forgive.

MR

***

IN THE CELL

I been sittin’ in this God-forsaken cell,
9 months later and it’s starting to feel like hell.
Just another drug addict story that hasn’t ended well.
Come in with a new charge. Thought I was headed son.
Nights are what’s hard but what’s really new?
The disappointment drawn on your face,
the ache in your eyes makes me wanna get high,
I feel like a fucking disgrace.
My words are shit, just wasted, shit-faced.
If I kill myself now you can get on your grieving.

***
REMEMBERING

You are a husband, father, son, brother, friend,

This man was the love of my life! This is the first time
I have ever written about him since his death in 2009.

He is a wonderful person inside and out. He loved me
with his whole heart. Always made sure his daughters
and I (his family) had everything we ever wanted and especially
what we needed.

I remember every morning that I always had a coffee and
cigarettes on my stand for when I woke up in the AM.
My car was always warm and full with gas. He always was
understanding and loving no matter what the situation. I miss
and love him dearly.

Jay was an amazing father. Not a night went by that he
didn’t read at least three stories to our youngest daughter Ashley.
She was daddy’s little princess. He always made sure our kids knew
how much he loved them. He always made special time for all three
of our girls and also time for myself. Almost 9 years later,
I still haven’t found any man that could ever compare or come close
to who he was as a man. I love your Jay and miss you with everything
I have.

CJ

***
I REMEMBER

I remember the way it felt to be normal,
but I forgot to sympathize the true definition of it.

I remember how it feel to be accepted,
but I forget the notions it took to get me there.

I remember how to hide my emotions for the sake
of it being easier, but I forgot it’s easier
to be honest about them.

I forgot to accept myself the way that I am,
but I remembered to accept others for who they
show me they are.

I remembered that not everyone is perfect, but
forgot to live by what I preach to others.

I remembered how it felt when I got hurt,
but I forget how that felt when I hurt someone else.

I remember to regret stuff after it’s already been
said, but I forget to think before I speak.

I remember a lot of unnecessary things,
but I forget all of the important things.

I remembered the way it felt to be let down
as a child, but I forgot when I was letting my child down.

I remember all of the things I have done wrong
in my life, but I forgot to remember all of the things
I have done right also.

I remember to look past somebody’s flows,
and know someone for who they actually are.

But I forget to accept myself for who I am,
and I continue to dwell on my flaws.

DC

***

FORGETTING TO REMEMBER

I’m afraid I’ll forget to remember. We hung on to every single part of you for so long. It became a necessity for my survival. Too many lonely, desperate days spent wondering, “WHY.” Those times I’ve needed you more than the breath in my lungs, I would dance on the stage of our memories. Your soul would speak to mine from across the miles, seeking the comfort and safety that only you could bring me. I look for you still. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop. I know I remember, it used to be too painful to think of your laugh, your hair wild with curls, and the sound of your guitar from the next room. It pained me, hurt my heart to remember. It was those little blue friends of mine that picked me up and carried me away. So far away that not even I knew where I was. So many years of floating on memories I couldn’t grasp. From so high up, the fall is damaging , unbearable. I fell fast and too quick to know how it happened. I landed in the middle of a cage, barred and cold. I wanted to remember now. It was that – your words of encouragement, us looking in the mirror at the same time at the almost same face, the rides just to talk…remembering, that is what kept me whole, has kept me alive. It pains me not to remember now, but the fact that I might forget. I will hold you close, it’s the only way. I can’t forget. We can’t forget. Let me know you remember in those fleeting dreams – the comfort I don’t want to leave. I want to go there, go where you are, but for now I’ll just remember.

AG

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