December 31, 2011

An ordinary and perfect night

It is outlandish
that my son will not remember
his first few years

the details
the riotous joy
the hundreds of nights
pressed up against my breast
in the dark
allowing me
to grow him

but what of the gaping blurs
in my adult memory
it is just as hard to believe
a day so sturdy
like it was made of dust

and there is no hierarchy to the moments
the ones I expect to last
movies I can watch again
are like the torched earth after a fire
only snippets remain
like a few dogged trees
roots wrapped around my brain
hanging on for dear life

so tonight
we finish the dip our guests didn’t eat
I sit on his lap
our son is asleep
Carole King fills the cabin
with her gritty hopeful voice
an ordinary and perfect night
I won’t take any chances this time
I will take measures
to dam the slide

I will catalog the unfolding
a proper report
a script
a gift to my future self
perhaps as a story
I won’t remember
but I will know at least
that on that night
I was astonishingly

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3 comments / Add Yours

Oh, this is breathtakingly beautiful. The days disappear, made of dust … that is so incredibly resonant with my experience. And you’re so right, the ones that endure are not always the ones we might imagine; I am consistently surprised by the things I remember – almost always they are small moments, what I call the “grout” between life’s major milestones. And I constantly remind myself to sink fully in, to try to pay attention, hoping to increase the odds that I remember. I always think of Wordsworth’s line that “in this moment there is life and food for future years,” the way certain experiences in life recur for me (well, in memory they are never quite as rich, hence the bittersweetness of it) and I continue to feast. I wish I could remember everything this way. xox




Oh how I love & look forward to your poems everyday. Really. They are remarkable. Thank you so much. This one made me smile and chuckle out loud for it is so true – everything you said. :)


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