Thursday, December 1, 2011

Caring for Your Memory

Caring for Your Memory

Jog your memory
daily, open the screen door
for it when it whines.

Learn to listen for it,
figure out its sounds and
how to translate them,

its cautionary squeaks
and exhausted thumps. Don’t
forget to feed it, make

a note to refill its bowl
and leave yourself a voice mail
saying read the note.

Your memory will
become muscular according to
how you play with it,

huge haunches
but weak knees, or long-limbed
and limping. You will

always injure it
by what you do. There are
consequences for how

you call to it and
reward it, how and why
you scold it, bad

memory, horrible
memory. It isn’t what it used
to be, nimble, limber,

a climber. You have
been training it to dance alongside
you without any rest.


  1. I love that opening stanza!

    The other day I listened to Joan Didion speak about memory, using it, shaping it, forgetting but needing to remember; so, your poem today especially resonates. I like how your poem connotes how memory can be this burden, ever present; how it can change with age (something else Didion addressed); how "caring for" it or not has consequences.


  2. I kind of take the function of memory for granted. Yikes.

    Nice visual rhyme thrown in there.

  3. I think I have an over-fed memory, Hannah. I am afraid my brain reboots everytime, to expel files and cookies that obscure memories that matter. Some people call it senility. I call it a senior moment. (:--P) Or a dancing partner with me having two left feet.

    WOW, the palpable images! Another good one, H.

  4. I love the idea of caring for memory, am always working on my own :).

    Hannah, I'm off to spend the weekend in the wine country, at the Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg, with 10 of my church girlfriends but I'll check in again early next week. I meant to catch up on all of your posts before leaving but have run out of time!

    Have a beautiful weekend.


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