Posts Tagged ‘elegy’

Things I Remember

Monday, April 1st, 2013

I don’t know why paper made me cry.


Lay my head on the table,

cheek, nose pressed against the coarse, white sheet.

Breathe in the ink, the pulp, the puzzle piece memories.

Is it strange to say the scent reminds me of you?

Your familiar cologne of age and wood, sun and sweat,

that clinging nicotine

comes off the page.

I would run into you at the end of the day, bury

my face in your torn sweatshirt, inhale.

You covered me with your arms, press your grin

into my curls, laughing.

Day after day,

the paper smell wrapped itself around you and me.


We were happy,

I think.


Each year steals a bit of you from my mind,

till I am left with a poor outline.

What remains was made by Picasso’s brush:

fractured, fragmented, fictitious,

it is a cubist’s dream,

but I am no artist.


Your portrait I paint with cluttered impressions:

piles of pancakes,

a mustachioed smile.

Laughter and light,

waves and carnival screams,

a soccer ball, the blur of black and white

as it meets the net, your yell from the sidelines;

a happy cry, daddy, I layer onto my

paper mache creation.


Pictures recall your rust-red skin, the suns tattoo, or

a symbol of the too great effort

your fatal heart made,

and your work worn hands, marked

by the hammer and nails of your day;

the eyes you gave me,

teardrop, Mom says.

The fuzz of hair that meant you were not bald, yet.


He loved you,

they say.

You were his little girl,

they say.

So much of you is supplied

by them.


Eight year olds don’t hoard away memories,

when they were supposed to have a lifetime.