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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 191

For today’s prompt, write a memory poem. The poem could be about a personal memory, someone else’s memory, or even play with the fact that some people lose memories. Just remember to write a poem.

Here’s my attempt at a memory poem:


I can’t remember tomorrow
when I always lose yesterday
falling out an open window.
I can’t remember tomorrow,
not that I’m filled with great sorrow,
because I still have my today.
I can’t remember tomorrow
when I always lose yesterday.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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117 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 191

  1. po


    Every poem is a memory poem.
    Of hot summer days when the
    tar bursts into bubbles on country
    roads. The joy as it pops when
    your bicycle hits it just right.

    In college how the last warm
    days of fall spend themselves as
    the sun nourishes more than your
    back. Days so rare you will never falter
    in love. But every poem is a memory.

    How wild iris mingles
    with the new ducklings
    in spring for a splash
    of color near the pond.

    Some stones fade. My Mom gone
    now for four years and her stories
    begin to need to be retold. Every poem
    is a memory and a poem.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    after katrina
    we were never quite the same again
    no matter how hard we tried.

    the house in which
    my mother was born in,
    sisters conceived,
    parents wedded,
    where beloved pet memorials
    held backyard court over the years,
    where melons and apples
    grew ripe for the picking,
    and frogs lulled us to
    sleep late in the evenings,
    the home altar where fireflies and
    lemonade glued us to the screen porch
    and dance recitals and watching old glory
    climb the pole made us cry every time,
    a hearth where barbecues and fall canning
    invited cousins to gather ’round
    clapboards and shutters and blossom
    like sprigs of wild roses.

    but then the waters came,
    and with it a mountain of mud and silt,
    uprooted trees, bobbing vehicles,
    bloated animal carcasses,
    occasional corpse.
    the winds were fierce at first,
    slammed window panes and rooftops
    leaned backs and shoulders
    against sills and foundations
    until only slabs of pitted
    concrete and rebar were left,
    the once picturesque orchard
    and garden areas vacuumed
    off the face of the earth
    as if we never existed.

    after katrina
    we were never quite the same again
    no matter how hard we tried to forget.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. tunesmiff

    (c) 2012 – G. Smith
    Just the night before,
    I stood on the very top floor,
    Looking out the windows on the world.
    Below the city lights,
    Shone clear and crisp and diamond bright,
    Mirroring the stars out the windows on the world.

    Out the windows on the world,
    Looking out the windows on the world.
    Could we have been prepared,
    For those things that we’ve all shared,
    Looking out the windows on the world?

    Who would have thought,
    The dinner that I’d just bought,
    While looking out the windows on the world,
    Would be the one that I remember,
    Since that long ago September,
    Looking out the windows on the world?

    Out the windows on the world,
    Looking out the windows on the world;
    Could we have been prepared,
    For those things that we’ve all shared,
    Looking out the windows on the world?

    Now Yellowstone steams,
    And fog blankets Alcatraz,
    Mists drift through the bayou,
    Like Dixieland jazz;
    The Rockies stand proudly,
    And the Hudson River curls;
    You could see it all by looking,
    Out the windows on the world;
    You could feel it all by looking,
    Out the windows on the world.

    They keep on going without,
    The windows on the world.

  4. tunesmiff

    (c) 2012 – G. Smith
    Over and over, again and again,
    I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
    Over and over, it goes on and on;
    And then in an instant; everything’s gone;
    Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

    Clear, cloudless morning,
    Sunny and bright;
    The city wakes up
    And shrugs off the night.
    Another day dawning,
    New work to be done.
    Where there where two,
    Soon there will be none.

    Over and over, again and again,
    I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
    Over and over; it keeps running on;
    And then in an instant; everything’s gone.
    Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

    The same old routine.
    Punching the clock;
    Walk down the hallway,
    Put the key in the lock.
    Greeting the faces
    You pass every day;
    Without being ready
    To see them taken away.

    Over and over, again and again,
    I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
    Over and over, it runs on so long;
    And then in an instant; everything’s gone.
    Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

    Over and over;
    Again and again.

  5. Michele Brenton

    Tender memories.

    This is a tough one
    how to explain a life with someone
    who never remembers?
    Or more accurately sometimes does
    but in fits and starts
    and how that constantly breaks my heart.

    Because I’m like an elephant
    everything sticks.
    I remember a film from a line overheard
    a book from ten years ago,
    every moment we’ve shared
    each word and the way it was spoken
    but I live in a world where a promise is broken
    or rather it isn’t quite because can you call it a promise
    if the person who made it forgets its conception?
    Not in a way that can find recollection
    the data is gone ,its gone.

    Every day is a new day, a new beginning
    which sounds rather lovely and full of hope.
    I carry our history, treasure it carefully,
    curate our necessary frequent contracts,
    there has to be trust, because I am the only
    person who tells of the things that have been.

    And this is the way we have been forever,
    I tell you the story you follow directions,
    we laugh and we love and we have new adventures
    and I tell them to you so you don’t lose the moments.

    I sit in my bedroom and I travel in time
    and scents and sounds and feel of the air
    and sun on my skin and I’m there
    while I’m here
    and I cry for the you
    who will never be able
    to hold onto a moment and love it forever.
    So I’ll love it for both of us,
    I’ll love us for both of us,
    and that will have to be enough, forever.

    Michele Brenton 11th September 2012

  6. Walt Wojtanik


    A shawl; a shroud.
    Crocheted in hues
    of black and crimson yarns,
    the winsome tatter across her shoulders.
    A gift perhaps,
    or a remnant left at her disposal.
    No offer or proposal, just a spinster maybe,
    or a not-so-gay divorcee. She wouldn’t say.
    Her silence is her voice; her stare, vacant and dead.
    Around her head, a babushka cinched tightly
    beneath her chin, a lofty noose without a victim.
    The window opens the world to her disinterest,
    at best, she has random flashes of its existence.
    She clutches the cozy covering closer to her,
    a sanctuary of sort. A harbored port
    in this station of her life. Once someone’s wife
    she remembers. Or she doesn’t. It matters not.
    People did not find their comfort in her company.
    Hers was offered in chastisement and vitriol.
    This decrepit soul lost in the warmth of her frigidity.
    It’s a pity. She does not remember that she was evil.
    But, she knows that she feels cold.

    **Written in response to Polish poet Anna Swirszczynska’s “She Does Not Remember”.

  7. PowerUnit

    Back in the day I’d pick you up
    in my yellow Ford Pickup
    the tailgate rattling
    as I gunned it over your gravel driveway
    I’d bring your little brother sparklers
    a young boy’s vice
    and a book of matches
    so he wouldn’t have to steal your mother’s

    We’d drive all night
    with the other Friday Main Street rally drivers
    coolness on wheels
    beer cans at their feet
    and girls under the free arm
    drinking cheap wine from the cold, hard, green rim.

    And now we sit in our flowered room
    watching movies on our flat screen
    olde Butch sleeping at our feet
    We sip our wine from shaped, formal glass
    waiting for our child to come home

  8. Andra the Cheshire Cat


    What I once so tangibly remembered was your smell:
    it was so warm – you smelled of freshly minted life
    and nothing could distract me from weaving between peals of laughter,
    following its beckoning trace –
    not your ample hands,
    nor your furrowed brows before that very captivating book,
    not even your proudly-displayed chest,
    the subtle thief of my attention and affection.

    I allowed myself to take notice
    because there was no talk of life and death that afternoon:
    no bullets graced the sky,
    no news of the technocracy, nor of the fate of this Great War –
    yet whispers begged through glimpses and gestures for the promise
    that it would still be like this between us after the end,
    constant through each end within end within end.

    On that cursed day, after it was all over,
    they took me home and covered me
    in mounds of dry fragments of perception
    the inheritors of the Phoenicians sold them
    inside a tiny velvet bag,
    while the spices that once underscored your smell
    were not afforded the benefit of a potted keepsake.
    As the men with doll-like hands cast you aside,
    my others bathed me in coconut oils and rinsed me with pomegranate juice
    until my skin was tight and flayed
    and my mouth was swollen with the taste of
    not three,
    nor six,
    nor six thousand crimson gems,
    but of all the ever-invented gems
    (including the stray one, drifting through that oddly baptized galaxy –
    the one you, with your stargazing heritage,
    have probably become intimately acquainted with by now –
    that one must have been from you).
    All these dainty drops fought tooth and nail
    to cram into the nook
    reserved for the slithering taste of your smell.
    I allowed it from a distance, remembering your voice
    as it laid out before me the heathen tale it captured when you were a boy,
    the one whose steps we used to trace without meaning to – WHAT A FRAUD!
    What kind of people would promise a woman such a thing,
    who could have it in them
    to come up with such a filthy lie,
    to tell me that the more I taste the food of the Underworld,
    the closer I shall bind myself to you …

    So that is the story of how I lost your smell for a while …
    A slice of time later,
    when the last torrent of unconsciousness had finally dripped out of me,
    I went out and I sought it in our city,
    I sought it in the books you used to love,
    in the people long-ago branded by a shake of your hand, even
    in the sky scattered through with your ashes
    and in the still-wanton soil.
    It was gone,
    lost at the bottom of the mighty waters
    the crimson seeds had borne inside me.

    I looked so hard, yet
    I could not find it in your coat,
    your large pressed suits,
    your stray poetry –
    only serendipitous wisps
    that somehow swim against the current in tiny bursts
    and magnetize my secrets
    and draw them out through the corners of my eyes
    like tiny cockroaches which crawl out of the upper corners of my walls
    at the most unfortunate of times.

    Perhaps this is the way the mighty waters shall rid themselves of me –
    constant through end within end within end.

  9. Bruce Niedt

    For a dying friend:


    You walk down the long hall for the last time.
    Framed photographs hang on both walls –
    your memories lined up as a gallery.
    When you reach the other end,
    Your picture will hang there too.

  10. sjmcken


    Like celluloid stills in a row,
    flashbulb moments held in tow,
    life’s history culled from freeze-framed stops
    knit akimbo in memory swaps,
    like celluloid.

    Spliced and spiced, only apropos
    scenes to match old things we know,
    our knowns the cozy comfort props
    in celluloid.

    We see what we expect, blind to
    the true, our self-talk quid-pro-quo.
    The conscious mind, late guest, up-pops
    selecting stills, then photo-shops
    and catalogs those snaps just so,
    to have a tale to tell, a flow
    like celluloid.

  11. Mary Mansfield

    The Number

    As the dusk faded away
    And the moon rose high
    In the midsummer night,
    His thoughts wandered
    To the faded phone number
    Scrawled in pencil
    On the back of a recipe card,
    Buried with the essentials
    In his rucksack
    But never far from his mind,
    A ten digit link
    To the life he could have had,
    The one within his grasp
    Until anger built a fence
    They could never climb.
    He could call that number,
    Beg to be forgiven,
    But after all these years
    He knows that number
    Only connects
    To an empty phone booth,
    No operator assistance available
    To trace love’s last call.

  12. dezeree3387

    If I Had One More Moment

    If I had one more moment to say all the things I needed to say,
    I’d tell you how much I’ve loved loving you this way…
    Thank you for being my shoulder,
    Thank you for being there for me.
    In case you ever questioned,
    I couldn’t have left more happily.
    If I could open my eyes one last time,
    I’d open them to see your face.
    To have your image engraved in my mind,
    Would make eternity such a better place.
    For every second that I’ve spent with you,
    For all the beauty that we’ve shared,
    I’d give anything to go back in time
    Just to prove that I’ve always cared.
    With all my heart and all my soul,
    I need you to know how wonderful you are.
    You’ve given me everything I’ve ever asked for,
    You’ve always been my shining star.
    I hope you know that I never meant to take you for granted…
    Never once did I not believe in you.
    You were the greatest thing to come into my life.
    Since the day we met I’ve been in love with you…
    I just want to say thank you for making my life worth living,
    And for fulfilling my every day.
    If I had one more moment left in this world
    I’d simply tell you how much I’ve loved loving you this way…

  13. priyajane


    And in the distance I do see
    Golden, abandoned territory
    Some images that  had disappeared
    Now follow me and seem so clear
    Why do these ghosts still show their face?
    Why have they left their hiding place?!

    Some rocks inside the treasure chest
    Have sparkling diamonds amidst their nest
    A lingering fragrance from the dried up rose
    Why,the broken thorns don’t hurt my toes?!
    Those tears,now pearls I hold them close
    And gently let them decompose
    For, time to climb back to the ground
    Embracing what I see around
    But a hint of fairy dust has sprayed
    A glitter of those Yesterdays
    Into the churnings of Todays—-

    PriyA Jane

  14. carolemt87

    So Long

    It’s been so long
    since we tossed the ball around
    so long since we played pickle in the rain
    so long, catching pop-flies
    under a muskmelon sky
    so long that glove you gave me sits
    Rusty Staub on Rawling’s
    Flex-O-Matic palm
    worn leather webbing
    crackled like old paint
    along the edges of fingers
    so small, so long ago
    so long,
    so come,
    play catch with me,
    it’s been

  15. SJMcGowanwrites

    This is a memory poem which I wrote dedicated to my Mother

    Are there ever any dreams in heaven?
    Like those about winding roads
    That leads you to remember me
    With my small hand in yours
    And will you pray for me?
    Because I miss your eyes and smile
    And the way you comforted me
    In my heart of a small child
    Will you not forget the bond we had?
    As I told you all my cares
    And you said to “trust in God
    For he knows all your fears”
    And you said you wish
    You had money back then.
    You never strived for fanciness
    To broken to care about success
    But the love that you had
    You gave the best
    From my heart of a poet
    Mom you’re the best.

  16. Ann M


    When he came down
    from the woods,
    the dam had let out
    and the kayak was gone,
    swept downriver.
    Later he saw a white
    kayak with orange stripes
    on top of a car on Roswell Road,
    but he couldn’t catch up.
    Now he has a different kayak
    that he paddles in Kailua Bay
    at dusk when the turtles
    swim near the surface
    so close, he can reach out
    and touch them,
    but he still feels like
    he lost something else
    and needs to keep looking.

    1. sjmcken

      Evocative…I recognize the reverberating sense you describe…I like the scenes you placed it in…..both of these aspects are memorable (no pun intended!). Thank you… !

  17. Marie Elena

    An oldie. (Sorry. It seems I’m doing that too much lately.)

    Niles Korner Dairy

    A long way back, in ’66,
    When we were eight years old,
    A dime was lying in our path,
    And we thought we’d struck gold.

    My cousin Tom and I took off.
    We ran, so we could pop
    Into the Korner Dairy
    With the Christmas Tree on top.

    The Korner Dairy carried
    All the stuff kids LOVE to have.
    Every candy known to man;
    Yummy sweet-tooth salve.

    Bit-O-Honey, Beamans’ Gum,
    Mary Janes, and Pez.
    Golden Nuggets, Nik-L-Nip,
    “Cool,” my cousin says.

    Flying Saucers, Circus Peanuts
    Goobers, Pixi Stix,
    Saf-T Pops, and Tootsie Pops
    (They take how many licks?)

    Rootbeer Barrels, Good & Plenty,
    Necco Wafer Rolls,
    Life Savers (made in Cleveland;
    Candy rings with holes).

    Wax Lips, Mallo Cups,
    Bazooka Bubble Gum,
    Whistle Pops and Whirly Pops,
    And Slo-Poke Suckers (Yum!).

    Sugar Daddy and his Baby,
    Candy Cigarettes,
    (Which today is too P.I.),
    And Chocolaty Croquettes.

    Charms Blow Pops and Fireballs,
    Bubble Gum Cigars,
    (There’s that darn P.I. again),
    And Hershey Chocolate Bars.

    Bottle Caps, Marshmallow Cones,
    A Candy Popcorn Ball,
    Candy Buttons, Chocolate Coins,
    Why can’t we have it all?

    We could share an ice-cream cone,
    If that is what we’d like.
    Or perhaps a giant box of
    JustBorn Mike and Ike.

    Hooray for dimes in ’66,
    So Tom and I could pop
    Into the Korner Dairy
    With the Christmas Tree on Top.

  18. Mary Mansfield


    I don’t remember much about that day,
    Just broken movie clips haunting my mind,
    The orange glow of the flames in the back seat,
    My tumble out the door onto the pavement,
    The two women with the kind eyes
    Holding me on the tiled counter
    Next to the sink pouring water
    Over my charred skin.

    But the scars, those have stayed with me.
    As a child they were all I could see
    Looking in my broken mirror,
    The grotesque bubbling of my skin
    From my chubby fingers
    up my arm to my shoulder,
    So sure that everyone else saw
    The hideous beast lurking
    In my mirror just as I did.

    Scars, at least the visible kind,
    Fade with the passing of time,
    And today no one even notices
    If they do not already know they are there.

    It’s the invisible scars
    From voluntary fires
    That still persist.

  19. cstewart

    Memory 2
    (Haibun Poem 2)

    Fortunately, memory is selective. Those you knew in the past are usually
    remembered only for their positive qualities. The problematic parts of their natures
    are shifted to account for meanness, lack of ambition or perhaps, bad judgment. There is
    no definite accounting for historical improprieties. Memory cancels the less likely.

    Imbecile person!
    Leave quietly on tiptoes
    Over time, gently.

  20. zevd2001


    The epicenter was somewhere in a region that

    wasn’t heavily populated, yet all around

    the ground shook, all the houses found

    themselves in heaps. Babies crying, what

    nobody said could happen, in a moment

    everything fell into this chasm here

    before us. So far all we know, it’s clear

    all the human survivors were saved. We spent

    those long days, archaeologists, we come

    to pick up what we can gather to know who

    they were, those who dwelled in his shattered pool

    now that they have left for good, all numb

    from the fatal seconds the ground that stood

    split in two. Treading carefully, down we go—

    a picture frame, a president, Kennedy, so

    saints and sinners . . . alongside worry beads, wood

    trays in disrepair, we look for evidence of glass

    or plastic perhaps, a large blue pitcher a sign

    of someone who produced it, yes, April Wine,

    at the base, MADE IN CHINA. We rest, a class

    will be coming soon, we have to reveal

    to them something about the people of this house

    about some details, to excite their minds, to rouse

    their curiosity, their intellectual zeal.

    Zev Davis

  21. Susan

    This is a very long poem–both a memory poem and a Haibun. (Should I post it twice?) Some of the formatting is lost below, so you may prefer to read it at my blog: http://susanspoetry.blogspot.com/2012/09/resurrection-2012.html

    Resurrection (2012)

    I wake at 5:55 AM, noting the triplets again. Yesterday, I glanced at the clock at 4:44 AM. and the day before at 3:33. I anticipate tomorrow’s magical number at 6:66, but that cannot be. “Christ is Risen!”

    I journal: 5:55 AM on Easter 1971, two hitchhikers woke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He and I were wrapped in each other against the cold, waiting for the sunrise service to begin. Red rose. Blue shot through. Dawn warmed our tips and dried the air. Awe was all ours. By nine, people arrived. Three hours past first light, the spirit had passed, but Bibles were open and folding chairs shaped the congregation. Holy words filled the air, “Truly, He is Risen!”

    Easter 1981, I sketched out an exercise for a rape play at the women’s center. We planned to confront the audience with a single actor rushing to get help. “My girlfriend was just raped. . . . and you weren’t there! You are never there, are you?” Witness would follow as each woman told her story . . . but this scenario never seeded nor bore fruit. Instead we built a theatre company among our river of women.

    9 AM, I put my journal away and take my coffee to the backyard to hear spring dance: the blues sound the bass in the un-mown grass with hyacinth, violets, periwinkle and wisteria; the golds point up the rhythm with crocus, daffodil and dandelions; and the creams punctuate the melody with snow bells and dogwood. The robins taking turns on the dance floor are as big as the grey squirrels and the white butterflies are as small as the bees. To be here now brings peace.

    Easter 1991, an Assistant Professor of Theatre directed at a 4-year college. Back East from a West Coast doctorate, I revisited the Native American grounds of the Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice. It did well, I think, for as long as it lasted. I had walked away a Quaker embracing Alternatives to Violence. Every day is Holy. God speaks. Resurrection is daily.

    9:30 AM, day-dreaming in my garden seat, envisioning past friends sitting in a circle in the grass. The boom clang is an echo from the road beyond, not a drum ritual urging movement in the pattern of the grandmothers, not a bell from the adjacent church calling today’s services. I blink and they are gone but for the relics: stones here and there, me sitting peacefully.

    Easter 2001, teaching English in Philadelphia—a Mecca for American Friends—and my ministry is creating environments for learning, participation, helping cocoons become butterflies. Students think I am crazy, “You even expect us to enjoy it!” They walk the walk though and the room buzzes with their symphonies, their delightful dissonance.

    10 o’clock: I stand with difficulty musing about Easters I have known with drumming circles, in church, in Meetings for Worship or with my family and compare them with this day set aside for writing. They are all the same, all lead to communion, the egg I am about to eat for breakfast, the bird that hatches and flies into eternity. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.*

    Yearly Spring Show
    dark earth flings open its doors
    color dances in

    *~Psalm 118:24~

    1. Andrew Kreider

      Susan, I love this. Something in the way you bring the circles around – each time the same, but different, each with its own flavour and season. And then to crack it all open with the dark earth and the color dancing in. Thanks for posting this one!

  22. addi22

    Living memories

    No matter what you say,
    from now on I’ll start fading away
    every day from your memory.
    You’ll still remember me for a while
    but later I’ll become a dusty photo
    in a boxed file.
    Bit by bit,
    my fading image will become
    a now ignored story on a diary page.
    My dreams and hopes you once incouraged
    will be turned into ghosts
    and will feel so strange.
    But when seeing someone
    looking like me on a back street
    you will remember me
    and the memories of us together
    will be alive again.

    Alive and free!

  23. Mike Bayles


    Every memory
    creates a circuit in my brain
    like rivers
    cutting across the land I love
    the land I shared with you
    bright and luscious
    in daylight
    midnight blue
    in depths of night,
    waking thoughts
    and dreams of you
    so long ago,
    a tangle of memories,
    and the rivers still flow.

  24. pmwanken

    this looks better, centered…but here it is nonetheless…


    hidden treasures
    swirling and twirling
    daydreamer’s dance
    comforts and

    P. Wanken

  25. Andrew Kreider

    on reading Anne Lamott

    some books are too beautiful to read
    some music more than one heart can hold
    some art aches beyond what the soul can bear

    hard days I keep radio silence, wipe down
    the empty walls, the pleading spines
    fearful of an embrace that cannot last

    for beauty is memory unfettered
    tidal and wild, unbearable
    I do not wonder that artists go mad

  26. seingraham

    What It’s About

    You run forward but look back over your shoulder
    And in that glance I see your mother grinning at me
    Her dimples are yours, your giggles ringing in the air
    Take me back years and years and I speed up
    Swoop you up in my arms, arthritis forgotten
    As I jog along tickling you and blowing kisses
    Into your sweet neck – we both laugh ourselves
    Breathless; I am surprised by sudden tears
    Blink them away before you notice – it’s just that
    I can see so far into the future and every bit
    As far back into the past in that moment
    And the perfection that is my life catches me
    So by surprise, I want to grab it and hold it close
    Capture it somehow so that I can take it out
    When I forget how good I have it – study it carefully
    Remind myself again and again, this is what it’s about

  27. Ber

    Caught in Time

    As we would sit and talk
    for hours on end
    the time we had back then
    running racing having fun
    oh sometimes how i miss it when

    Silence is the house
    silence is the air
    walking through the open fields
    memories of this place
    almost seen myself running past
    a smile upon my face

    Adventure was our playground
    we done this quite well
    ice rink hand made
    on the cement ground of white

    Skipping ropes sometimes two
    under the moon and over the stars
    eating melted chocolate bars
    questing which color of the next car

    Looking at the stars up above
    singing out not a note
    wearing our sleeves as gloves
    Fields of red against the gold
    stories of the young
    stories of the old

    Open camp fires
    catching our hearts
    laughter filled every corner of the estate
    no one fought
    there was never hate

    Stand by each other
    played sports of all sorts
    achievements made by all
    no one single person gloats

    Pride for each other
    team play in our name
    supporting networks
    we gave it all
    we had our perks

    Setting the standard for the next to come
    we had our hearts filled by all
    as we speak of the past
    we knew we had fun
    we had a blast we made it last

  28. taylor graham


    In the last days she was leaving
    into the place old dogs go,

    when love of master’s hand and the daily
    joys of walk and dinner bowl

    become forgetful;
    when without wishing the ears

    muffle over master’s voice,
    and curtains silver-glaze

    the eyes against daylight – painless
    but wandering from her life

    into a new one without us. Solitary
    unless every cell

    of fading body feels at its walls
    the tremor – the soft pad of others

    on the far side, their heads lifted
    to an unworldly breeze

    that already bears to them
    her approaching,

    remembered scent.

  29. Sara McNulty

    Love yours, Robert.

    Memory Jogger (an etheree)

    Two little girls climb into car’s back
    seat, faces filled with dread of long trip,
    parents proffering canned ginger ale.
    I recalled two other girls,
    pale sisters throwing up,
    quick stops the whole way,
    car reeking, dead
    cigar smoke
    from Dad’s

    1. Marie Elena

      Oh my! Unfortunately, you did a grand job here, Sara! Reminds me of a trip from NJ to OH late at night, my favorite cousin and I in the back seat with our dolls, and my cousin throwing up the hot cocoa we enjoyed at our last stop. Some memories are better than others. ;)

  30. taylor graham


    That photo he clicked between shifting
    borders – you don’t remember looking
    like that: schoolgirl sitting
    on a dragon’s tooth, so far from home.

    Drachenzähne, you’d read of war,
    but it hadn’t touched you.
    Stories of ancestors eating roots
    after fields were harvested by sword.

    They packed that genetic information
    into bags and sailed it
    on the tides. Down years, to you.
    That look the camera shuttered –

    your lips shut tight. How generations
    can slip the sound of a vowel
    so it comes out foreign, so it takes
    decades for you to remember.

  31. ChristineA

    Skipping Out of Work Early

    “Mommy, I want to go higher!” she cries
    Head upside down, those big brown eyes.
    Back and forth and up and down
    Goes the swing on our playground.

    Giggles upon giggles echo in my ear
    I’m grateful for the chance to just be here.
    Feet in my face but I push her still.
    My arms are tired, but I can- I will.

    Higher and higher, this climbs for the taking
    I fear the now shaky swing set is breaking.
    No fright, no trepidation, she glides with ease
    Until she can see over the tops of trees.

  32. tjholt

    Red Heads

    He smacks her
    she remembers
    the headscarf ‘s at home.
    Damn it woman
    I don’t need a bath.
    The aid tries again,
    he strikes once more.
    He remembers
    he doesn’t like redheads.
    He doesn’t remember
    hitting his wife.
    He doesn’t remember
    she was a red head.

  33. Linda Hatton


    You were not what you appeared
    to be, scrawny, dressed nice in white button-down
    shirt, bent over a flat tire. I remember you, my hero,
    saving the day and me, though,
    as you recall, you didn’t want
    the job, leaving me a wretch
    with a wrench in her heart, a tire deflated,
    never again to be filled with breath.

  34. Walt Wojtanik


    Your ashen features, freckle-pocked and framed
    by flame colored tresses, make me whole.
    My guess is that your soul has stayed behind
    while you search to find the end of the universe.
    And I, ensconced in verse, continue to purge you
    without sounding like this dirge that plays in my head.
    Those lips that held the sip of beauty’s savor
    were a favor given gladly, but sadly silence
    is the song that they sing eternally.
    Your eyes melt me like the chocolate they mimic,
    and your nose, pert and lovely – behoove me;
    they move me to tears, and my greatest of fears
    is that someday I will forget you if I let you go.
    I’ve grown accustomed to your face
    or at least the trace of it that still remains.

  35. J.lynn Sheridan

    “lost words”

    judge her not—
    for loss of familiar

    words in her runaway time—

    mislaid time is no time for tucking words
    away into her lost mind,

    but time is all she has—this rare day
    she finds lost beauty praised

    while lost sorrow are lost
    time and time again

    I glance into tomorrow’s certainty
    of lost words
    and hug her against my soul.

  36. claudsy

    Silent Wishes

    Experiments rose from need,
    For curiosity’s sake,
    Taking me places unfamiliar.

    A need to know,
    To understand my place
    Within time’s fabric,
    Drove me to silence
    When others chose chatter.

    A question needed answered
    That I might know purpose,
    My thread on life’s loom.

    Silence claimed my voice,
    Though rare subvocal
    Responses reassured those
    Who needed to hear something
    From one who’d gone quiet.

    Weeks rolled by,
    Without comment from others;
    No questions rose.

    None wondered why I
    Remained silent and still.
    Did they not notice my

    Stillness or my avid attention
    To things beyond speech’s use?

    When six short weeks passed,
    Mother asked if I was ready
    To rejoin the rest of the world.

    She needed no explanations,
    No reasons for sudden silence
    Or stillness of spirit within me,
    But knew I required time to
    Find that space made for my use.

    My lesson had arrived in
    Silence and observation,
    My fate sealed in those weeks.

    I’d learned to listen,
    Both within and without;
    Silence speaks loudly
    Of worlds little known
    And seen only in quiet questing.

  37. De Jackson

    atrial footprints
    (a shadorma)

                                              some things will
                                                    stay, never stray far
                                            from this heart;
                                                          laughter loosed,
                                               the inky sea of your eyes,
                                                     the slant of your smile.


  38. Jane Shlensky

    Memory Exercises

    The article told its readership to put music
    back into their lives—literally. Play
    an instrument, sing along, dance while you can,
    do it every day, for music improves memory,

    each melody and harmony repairing the ties
    so thoughts are not derailed, snappy lyrics
    staving off dementia for a few more months,
    each note creating small ledges that our forgetful

    selves can rest on when our futures
    shuffle along on question mark walking sticks.
    At the assisted living center, they bless my heart
    for playing the songs of their youths, the ones

    they fell in love to, the ones they made up
    dirty lyrics for and sang beneath their breaths.
    Now they remember themselves as kids
    and laugh, loving themselves all over again,

    singing aloud their naughty versions of songs,
    moaning the blues, snapping the jazz,
    popping the pop, waltzing hand in hand
    with lyrics, dancing from their chairs

    to the oldies, a fragile today traded in for
    a sturdy yesterday, and the hope
    that tomorrow will be kind, or at least
    remembered like an old love song.

  39. De Jackson

    Rearview Mirror

    You spill out some story
    in your garbled two-sie tones,
    greenblue eyes bright, feet flailing,
    carseat rocking with that bingbingbing
    energy level you have never quite lost,
    busy hands tossed into the air and tumbled
    words poured loose by the hundreds;
    take a deep breath, and then:
    “Wasn’t that a good remembry, mama?”

    Yes, Baby.
    Yes it was.


  40. JWLaviguer

    deja vu

    Something in your eyes
    looks familiar
    Have we met?

    Not here, not now
    you say
    Another life, perhaps

    We have journeyed
    together and apart
    And meet again

    Two lifetimes ago
    I lost you
    Not again

    For eternity
    is unknown to us
    yet we’ve lived it together.


  41. Nancy Posey


    He knew they were tests,
    those questions posed so flippantly,
    Do you know what year it is?
    What state are you in?
    Why should it matter what day or year or month
    if all he does is sit in this same chair, waiting for dinner
    or bingo or, if the stars align just right, a visit?

    If he tells them he’s in the state of boredom,
    of discontent,
    or steady decline,
    will they read the dark humor intended
    or prescribe a little something
    to lighten his mood for their benefit?

    Even he can’t understand why
    he remembers a single meal
    from childhood more clearly than
    this morning’s breakfast,
    or why
    he recalls every nuance of a conversation
    from his early courtship, but not
    whether the children called today.

    They call it density—those memories
    etched in the recesses of the brain
    when he had fewer names
    or birthdays
    or phone numbers.
    Now he wonders at the poor use
    of grey matter, filling those cells,
    firing those synapses to memorize
    times tables, the Bill of Rights,
    the states and capitals,
    the days, the months, his old address,

    taking up space where he might have stored
    for each retrieval, the names
    of all his children, the scent
    of his wife, long faded from her pillow,
    the songs he’d meant to write down,
    to be sung at his graveside,
    all now muffled by the white noise
    of the inconsequential.

  42. Domino

    Who Are You Again?

    I just can’t remember your name.
    I know you, I think I do, don’t I?
    Your face is familiar, that’s plain,
    But I can’t remember your name.
    My memory’s just not the same
    I suppose even I can’t deny.
    I just can’t remember your name.
    I know you, I think I do, don’t I?

    Diana Terrill Clark

  43. Domino

    Grandma’s Place

    Wild roses growing on the gate
    scenting the air with floral spice
    on their half broken down estate
    Wild roses growing on the gate
    Go to bed early and sleep late
    Nothing sweeter or half so nice
    Wild roses growing on the gate
    scenting the air with floral spice

    Diana Terrill Clark

  44. Marianv

    “There ain’t no sunshine when you’re gone”

    A warm and humid morning, the first time
    We walked back to the pond. You, your
    Sister Kathy and me.
    You told us about the weather in Seattle
    And how this day reminded you of it.
    The weather report had mentioned the
    Possibility of afternoon showers and you
    Hoped so, on the Pacific coast, you told us
    There was not a lot of thunder and lightning.

    Kathy quickly climbed down to the water and
    Sat on a big flat rock where she took off her
    Shoes and socks. I climbed more slowly,
    Sliding now & then on my rear end which was
    Easier than watching where I stepped. A few
    Seagulls flew overhead, screaming out their
    Seagull song that seemed to carry echoes of dis-pleasure

    You remained on the bank, staring out over the quarry
    Which was more treeless than you remembered, but
    Still speckled with those tough, bristly hemlocks which
    We always cut down to use for our Christmas treel
    You started to climb down the bank but ended up on
    Your rear end, the way I did. You and Kathy lit up
    Cigarets and we all looked blankly at the water.

    That was when you began to tell us about what all
    Had happened to you in Seattle. When you talked
    About your fiancée, and your memories of the day
    He left, you began to cry and soon Kathy and I were
    Crying with you. Those were the days when you were
    Still mad at everybody back here and saw that psychologist
    In Palm Desert who taught you how to blame everything bad
    That happened to you on some childhood memories that.
    To your anger, few of us remembered and then only barely.

    But you are here, (or you were here) and once again at the
    Quarry which you had missed. We all cried harder when
    You told us you wish you could take away all the things
    You were sorry for nd how was it that people could all
    Remember different things from the same day and place,

    After we had all calmed down and kissed, you said you would
    Always remember us like this and the quarry and the misty day
    That smelled like rain.

    But you didn’t remember it very long. It was only a few months
    Later when they shipped your body from Seattle and we buried
    You in St. Joseph’s cemetery and try to remember the good times
    Which took a long time to do, bot now we can and see, I wrote
    This whole poem about the last time we all went to the quarry
    Together only of course we didn’t know that that time was the last.

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      I love pieces that tell a story, esp. when it’s as poignant as this. Great message, M, about what’s truly important in the end. Lovely piece.

  45. MeenaRose

    Moonlit Memories
    By: Meena Rose

    Sister Moon, remember?
    Those long ago nights
    When I looked upon
    You ahead of the
    Silvered misty

    Sister Moon, I remember;
    Your delicate hands
    Reaching down offering
    The sweetest caress;
    A butterfly touch
    Wiping away tears.

    Sister Moon, remember?
    Those long ago nights
    When we sang our Heartsong
    In the forested grove
    Two voices twined
    Into one song?

    Sister Moon, I remember;
    The calming of Soul,
    The opening of Heart,
    The willing surrender
    To the Great Mystery
    Of Life.


  46. Imaginalchemy

    “Memories are Snails”

    Memories are tiny intangible snails
    That tag along behind you,
    Leaving their sticky residue
    In persisting, twisting trails

    And even if, after a mile or two,
    They fall so far behind
    When you take a rest, you find
    They soon catch back up to you

    You might even want them gone
    So you throw salt in their way
    But even if they shrivel or decay
    Their shells keep rolling on

    And if you try to break those shells
    The fragments are still there
    Stuck in your fingers and toes so bare
    So the pain never truly quells

    So let the snails follow as they will,
    Acknowledge them, but walk ahead
    You’ll gather more on the road you tread
    As your earth-changing trail grows longer still.

  47. nitapita

    My first post…
    Moments appear fleetingly
    Like slides upon a screen
    Breif accounts of a lifetime
    Of things I’ve felt and seen
    But as my hair grows grayer
    And my mind gets weeker
    The details aren’t so keen

  48. JWLaviguer

    I Will Remember

    The first time we kissed
    The first time you said you loved me
    The first time

    Those days are passed
    But I will never forget
    The day you broke my heart

  49. SharoninDallas

    Ten steps
    From bed to bath
    One to lay the other way
    Ten seconds to wait the pain
    As nerves squeeze and leg draws in
    Two seconds for squeeze to ease
    Sitting up, standing lean, now just the normal pain
    Ten steps
    From bed to bath
    Now begin again.
    Ten strokes of her hand
    Gentle sweet and soft
    My strength my heart my rock my mom
    Forever and oft

  50. Misky

    Poetic Form: A Haibun

    Remembering You

    I am home, just two days away from you, but I’ve travelled across harvest-stubbled fields that still smoke and smoulder in wisps, across creeks clearer than glass, across hills that winter will cover with snow like bosomy rounds, through tunnels where the secrets of water are kept from wavering eyes, passed cows and goats that hint of cheese, and beyond the sound of your sleep that rattles like peddles on the beach as you breathe.

    September sun glares
    Home is where your heart remains
    Autumn comes just once

  51. Walt Wojtanik


    File boxes brimming.
    Possessions skimming the surface
    of a tired mind. I find trinkets
    and “tchotchke”, treasures
    I took pleasure in when youth was kind.
    I find their stories come to mind haltingly.
    I fault age and a life rife with abundance.
    Photos and stubs become hubs
    for a slow moving wheel. I steal memories
    from the vault buried within and I grin.
    It saves me from forgetting. I won’t let go.

  52. Walt Wojtanik


    It was in the fall.
    Do you recall the time we met?
    I’ll bet you haven’t forgotten.

    It was in the mall.
    Do you recall seeing me near the food court?
    Can you sort out those thoughts?

    I gave you a call.
    Do you recall the way my voice cracked?
    The cards were stacked against me.

    We had a ball,
    do you recall laughing at my plight
    and talking all night to the strange stranger?

    Or the banquet hall?
    Do you recall that first nervous kiss?
    I could not resist those lips.

    Our relationship stalled,
    do you recall the reason? Or the season?
    After a brief lifetime our time had come.

    I remember the pall,
    I do recall saying good-bye as they lowered you,
    to the earth’s cold embrace. I remember your face.

    Do you recall?

  53. Walt Wojtanik


    I left you moments ago,
    and I know you will be gone
    for as long as your heart will allow.
    It is now that I feel your absence.
    But your presence will linger
    long after your image fades.
    Nothing can erase
    your face from my heart.
    I will start to miss you tomorrow.
    I left you moments ago.