29 October 2013


Precious faces dissolve as I try to focus,
come into sharp relief when I turn away.
I loved these people, their minds, their essence
yet their features frustrate and elude me.

Hymnal text, creed and prayer are etched in stone
but her name darts here and there, defies pinning down.
Words of old songs flow summer honey thick
but this morning's news is flimsy, already gone.

Where are my grey socks? An odd ball tucked somewhere?
I had yellow ones and a matching tie in '74,
nestling in a cherished drawer, the third one down,
in a room, in a house, in a street I lived on.

While bland minutiae soar to break the surface
murky depths claw vital facts below.
It's intriguing, what my mind believes worth saving,
my oatmeal head, grey and gently simmering.

I'm conjuring a scene half a century old
with a searing clarity, not recalled by squares
of foxy Kodak pressed between ancient boards.
As real as photons dancing on my retinas.

The common man remembers best his favourite things,
those tarnished gems and bouncing pearls he deftly caught.
If faces, scents or whispered words are lost
they merely spilled from my treasure chest...

like teardrops from my brimming eye.


Russell Duffy said...

Absolutely brilliant. A single lack of sentimentality and yet touching. Something someone of certain vintage can relate to.

Perfect Virgo said...

Many thanks Russell. Memory is such a puzzling thing and yet it's what defines us and our lives. I ration myself to a couple of poetry attempts a year as I find the process quite exhausting.