As I’ve probably said before in a post, the benefit of having a shoddy memory is forgetting poems I’ve written, which means when I read them again, I think, Good golly, what am I havering on about this time? I especially feel that way if I don’t remember the circumstance under which I wrote the poems. When I do recall writing a poem, I have to locate myself physically; I have to remember where I was. That is, if I flash to where I was, I usually remember writing the poem. If I can’t muster up the location, I haven’t the foggiest notion or memory of having written the piece (“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,/ Moves on….)
Does that make sense? Perhaps. Anyway, here’s a poem that surprised me.
First Order of Business
I emerged, chrysalis-like, from the ground
and decided that things needed to change.
The first order of business, after my heart
began its steady beating, was to fix her little
red wagon, sitting rusted and unused in the
backyard of her smothered, blue-tinted life.
My eyes opened for the second time, taking
in the wounded Earth, the stalking heavens,
the wagon of my past, present, and future.
She stood at the corner of the yard, figuring
out the tricky equations of a painless death.
My hands became tools, perfect for the job.
She held her breath until I was finally finished,
and then she tried to breathe like a normal girl.
But she wasn’t a normal girl, and her wagon
wasn’t a normal wagon–so I stayed on, unlike
last time, when I dragged my monstrous form
to a neglected corner of the Earth and slept
until the end came on tapered, nightblind legs.