Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘remember

memories

with 3 comments

musing on the myriad ways memories affect us and how elusive memories can be, i have started a number of poems to capture different memories and how memories change through time and space.

For Cyan

i always thought her pale face beautiful ethereal but
it marked her heart as it had been since birth
unable to keep up unable to match a girl much less an infant
and so the surgeries marred her
we never saw physical scars no
she was our fairy child
we saw the scars in her eyes and her writing and the pain reflected

her dark hair grew she dyed it varying colors hid behind it when
drugs smoothed the lines of her face and created a body that a 16
year old teenager could not have cared for
i created a costume to hide it all but in the end
her friends pulled her free
and she danced for the camera as they did

and then
she was gone
closeted in the hospital behind white doors waiting for a new heart
a panacea a perfect solution
we waited breath held
for one heart
first a bad heart—who sends a bad heart to a dying girl?
to be removed again from our fairy girl
and lo
another match a new heart the solution
we talked that night so optimistic in medical terms and emotional
unknowing
as she lay struggling for breath

and so that next morning that the ethereal body that pale face
could not handle the trauma once more
the scars in her eyes were gone
her breathing stilled

she watches me sitting on stone walls with a solemn face or shy smile
and sometimes i catch sight of her dancing in the rain
she is freer now with her laughter and her eyes lighter in spirit
she feels no pain

in this place called his soul

in this place called his soul
her pain matched his for too long
her confusion followed his down the dark hallways’
twists and turns
her love tried to keep up
as his leapt and ran through tortured tunnels

she stands no longer in that place called his soul
she hears his voice faintly
but the pain is not hers
the hallways no longer hers to follow
the love belongs elsewhere

and although for a time they were lost in the tunnels
she will walk away
she has meadows to run in flowers to find
she has clarity of purpose and mind
and the pain is gone
the sunlight hers at last

a painting

a memory
a painting of great detail and minute accuracy
step closer
peer at the brushwork the intense color
what is this
small flakes of paint have begun to fall
the artist must have used inferior paint

this memory
of great detail and minute accuracy
goes like this
(the bits of paint that have fallen cannot be replaced
the girl has not been 6 for 40 years and the grandfather
is happily
dead):
a grandfather and his granddaughter sit on the couch
she 6 years of age in shorts of blue shirt of ……….
his pants ……. shirt plaid his cane leaned beside him
such a nice portrayal
he speaks to her, “…….. ,”
and she allows him to reach inside her shirt
and ……………….. then pulls his hand away
he reaches for the zipper of her shorts but fumbles
she begins to help but ………………………..
he says, “ ……… ,”
she leaves the living room and runs towards safety
her brothers’ room but they yell at her to leave
so she goes ……………… to hide until her mother returns

the grandfather?
we do not know
this is the girl’s memory
his memory died with him
or flaked away before him
so that he died with an empty canvas

not what i wish to give

even though you have exhausted all human constraints on what should and
should not be a trial on the spirit of any one person
i place my hand where your heart should be to still it from its frantic beat

even though you are a ghost
in the true sense of the word a spirit that wanders the world
though your corporeal self still remains (that is a mystery of course)
i smile at your ghost to encourage its return—you should not be without it

even though that ghost is malignant malign: baneful, malicious, misogynist
just the leftovers of your desperate work on a life full of flaws and human-ness

i read a paragraph and think that you would enjoy the play of words across the page
the interwoven message
i hear a word a story a message from the world and know that this is something you should know

the ghost hovers listening wanting
what?
not what i am wishing to give
i wave a hand to send it on its way home
and hope that some of the warmth the calm are carried with it on the wind

Written by senua

July 18, 2009 at 5:07 am

Little Things

with 8 comments

It’s those little things people remember about you, you know.

 

It’s not all the work you did, your big accomplishments, awards you achieved, contests or contracts you won.  It’s the little off-the-record comments that make people miss you.  After you’re gone, I mean.

 

One of my co-workers died a couple years ago.  A very nice guy named Denny.  He did good work, knew his IT, served his country, but I remember the little things.  I found some salt water taffy in the community candy dish…it reminded me that Denny used to bring the freshest, softest taffy back every time he returned from visiting his mother out East.  He also would bake bread a couple times a week and bring it in to the office to share…

 

It wasn’t just the food – it was Denny’s thoughtfulness.  He brought an ice scoop and a cup to rest it in so we didn’t have to use our hands to get ice…and a plastic pitcher with a line marked so we’d make never-fail coffee… he brought his spare drill into the office, just in case…it’s come in handy a number of times… 

 

Denny was genuinely cheerful – not in a fake perky sort of way – when he said, “Happy Tuesday!” – he meant it.  His joy de vivre was contagious – I felt better when he was around. 

 

So even though I didn’t know Denny well, I remember him, and I miss him.  For his practicality, his thoughtfulness, his smile, the way he always said, “Thank you, thank you!” – all the little things that made him Denny.

 

…Makes me wonder what people will remember about me…

 

© 2008 Kerry Vincent

Written by kvwordsmith

May 21, 2008 at 6:30 pm

I remember…

with 3 comments

* * * * * * *

      Only a name.  Only a name and a piece of cloth.  Only a name and a piece of cloth to remember someone who lived and loved, someone who died of HIV-AIDS.

            This is the second time I will view a Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt exhibit.  I take a deep breath and begin the slow walk around the huge gymnasium.  Bright panels of leather and lame’, denim and sequins, hand-blocked letters remind me that persons with AIDS are more than Center for Disease Control statistics:  each one has a name and a personality and someone who will miss them.

            I recognize Ryan White’s name, but the panel that strikes me most displays simple yellow letters on black felt.  It says, “My name is Duane.  I was born in 1964.  I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987.  By the time you read this, I will be dead.”

            A square of canvas and markers are provided so viewers can sign a quilt panel.  I see the name of someone I knew, Helena Henry Hatch, a fellow volunteer.  I went to her funeral.  Always dedicated to education and prevention, Helena requested that condoms be distributed for free after her funeral service. 

I write, “You teach me to honor the present.”

          Someone else has written, “Love is never wrong,” and “Love is not in vain.”

            My friend Jerry says hello and shows me the panel he sewed for his buddy Larry.  I give Jerry a hug and tell him I love him.  Jerry is caring, creative, talented, intelligent, he knew Janis Joplin during the original Summer of Love, and he is HIV +.  I don’t want to lose Jerry, too.  Ever the caregiver, he hands me a tissue.

            I tell Jerry, “You will always be more than just a number, just a name on a piece of cloth,”

            He kisses my forehead and thanks me for coming to honor his friends.

 

* * * * * * * *

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

I wrote this piece about 15 years ago.  Jerry died in 1999.  I made his panel for the Names memorial quilt.

Kerry

Written by kvwordsmith

May 7, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Posted in KerryWordsmith

Tagged with , , , , , , ,