ON THE PERSISTANCE OF REMEMBERING.
Nearly twenty five years gone
And that night still comes to mind.
Be better, I suppose, if I forgot it.
But I haven’t. Have you?
The memories disappear, and I think them gone,
But a song, a story, someone who looks like you
Calls to mind the raw spot,
A constant rubbing in the memory,
Should be calloused over by now,
But it’s not. I notice the pain and look,
And it’s still as red and angry
As the night it happened
I don’t know how many people
Have urged me, almost ordered me:
“Let it go, it’s only getting in the way
Of your progress.” What progress?
Nothing in my life has been the same
Since that terrible night-nothing.
How do you leave off remembering
All that happened, in great detail.
It’s nothing like choosing
Peas or corn to have with my steak:
It should be so easy.
Well I suppose it is easy
For the uninvolved-
But even those who say they don’t care
Have their agendas.
So now that I’ve thought of it
I will put it back and pretend
That I never remembered.
Kind of like the surgeon
Who opens up the patient
Expecting to find nothing wrong
And finds him full of inoperable cancer.
He stuffs it back in,
Sews the patient up,
And nobody’s any the wiser
At least that’s how it used to be.
Today they’re dedicated to truth telling
Sometimes a lie is more merciful.
But there’s always a day of reckoning
When the mess just gets too big.
And so I will forget
Until I remember again.
-August 5, 2012