Do we hold memory or does memory hold us, gathering and trading as it moves along on its way, holding onto bits it chooses, tossing others without a care as to how dear they are? It is a real concern on days when I walk into a room and wonder what I came for, or when a word I know as well as my own name sits on the tip of my tongue, refusing to come forth. Yet there are trivial dates and data that never seem to get lost along the way. I don't want to lose you, if memory decides that 1066 and the Magna Carta should stick around, but the sound of your laughter can be left by the wayside. I cannot bear the thought of looking into your face and confusing you with someone else, or worse yet, think you're no one I've ever met. I don't want to lose myself, to look in the mirror and see a stranger who looks slightly familiar but with no connection to me that I can recall, someone who can't remember her own name, or thinks she exists in the time of her childhood. Perhaps this is why I love looking at old photos and family videos, reliving the good times with family and friends. If I do this often enough, maybe I can trick memory into holding onto me and the things I hold most dear.
~Elise Skidmore ©2022
I like the way you took this from something most of us deal with, especially as we age, and then made it very personal -poetic.
Thanks so much, Dab. I think that’s the beauty of poetry–it lets us see we’re not alone in the things we think and feel, but may not know how to express. We all get forgetful, especially as we age, and it can be very worrying, especially if we’ve been close to someone with Alzheimer’s.
To be very honest, when I first saw all your lovely comments show up on my website today, I thought for a minute I’d been hit by a spammer–you probably noticed my site doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic. LOL. Then as I started reading your comments, it took me a minute to remember “dab” from the Cage. In my defense, the old Cage sadly disappeared so long ago and you did stay in stealth mode a lot back then too. But then it all clicked in! And how perfect to go with this poem about holding onto to memory! I do hope you come back often to keep my memory fresh.