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TOE Poetry :: When Your Memory’s Shot


by Bridget


The man walks alone through the sand.
Takes awkward steps, one at a time.
Traveling is tough when you’ve reached his age.

The girl lies sprawled on the plaid quilt with her lover,
Reading side by side to the sound of waves.
The old man sits, rests on the folded hotel chairs,
And looks ahead at the scene before him.

She wonders if he’s lonely.
She wonders if his head is all there.
What if he’s a widower?

So it is there, on that beach, that she begins to ponder old age.
The CDC reveals a record high life expectancy
But has yet to fix the problem, damn it,
of the disparity between genders.

Seems this man was an exception, must’ve outlasted his lover.

So what good is it, then, to live so long
If your memory is shot and your lover is gone?
But the truth is, he’s remembering her right now
And the day they had on this very shore.

He sits in his own world, reliving that moment.
His long-gone lover is actually right there with him.
Donning matching seaweed caps,
They whistle sailor tunes as loud as they can.

A chuckle escapes from his weathered lips-
Confirms the girl’s fear that
He’s lost his marbles, off his rocker.

The girl smiles, walks hesitantly toward him,
Intending to become what is likely his only friend.
As she says hello, the spell is broken.
The whistling halts and his head is bald.

The memory of his long-gone lover slips away
Like that of a day’s old dream.
I thought you could use some company, she offers,
As he blinks away his only friend.

So what good is it, then, to live so long
If your memory is shot and your lover is gone?

September 2, 2009 7:05 am

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