On this grey day in early fall
I close my eyes and gather memory
How many days like this can I recall
What trigger can I use to bring them back to me?
Fall days can have in common, what:
Grey skies, cool wind and fading flowers
The shortening of daylight so that waking to sleeping cuts
Almost in half the summer hours.
I try to pull a flashbulb memory from
My hippocampus, but they all seem
summer memory; is recollection somehow better
Preserved by heat? I let the pictures coalesce
They all are snapshots from a photo set
As though I have no memories of my own
But only those preserved in chemicals or pixel form.
I close my eyes again and this time I see
Myself, at maybe 9, in school day finery
For the first day at my new school, a new dress
Long sleeved—school’s first day was always cold back
Then and we always wore a dress, with socks,
No pants, not even for the long cold walks.
Girls were not allowed school day pants, the rule
was bare legs. Stockings were for grown up ladies,
there were no pantyhose, which hadn’t been invented,
so we were always cold on the way to school.
Are the photos, then, my memory? And if not preserved
Then does the memory exist, or is it words
That are needed. Do I have to share
my memories to make them as real as this cold air
that is not serving to help me recall
If I exist in my own memory, or someone else’s
Or at all.
Playing this October with long-form poems, and a little with
OctPoMoWriMo, although I may not post one every day