It’s funny how often when I sit down
to chronicle my mind’s journey,
the one that took a handful of decades
to make yet can be read cover to cover
in the instant I step off on my imaginary
left foot, only a handful of images
spring to view. I can only hold that
five fingers’ worth of life within this cloudy
scene of greensward and foggier memory.
More often than not, there’s this face
I once knew hiding just off the margins,
or in that park’s oak tree shadows
of ever more feeble remembrance.
I’d describe it to you, but its edges
have become fuzzy with the years
and its colors indistinct, like that face
in the mirror when I’d shave with lights off
and dawn not yet over the window sill.
The other day, I placed my imaginary thumb
over that blur of memory, and the remaining
images lost the sharpness of their being,
smudged as if rain, or even tears, fell upon
a fresh watercolor. I pulled back,
and everything became sharp again.
Strange that when we try losing sight
of one piece of our story, so much
of the rest of it loses its focus, too.
Sorry for the run of longer poems lately. After completing a book’s worth (actually two) of 100-word poems for One Hundred Beats a Minute, I guess my muse needed to stretch her legs. I’ll tighten things up again soon, I hope. Or maybe a poem’s length is like Abraham Lincoln how described his legs when asked how long they were: “Long enough to reach the ground.”