Georgic on Memory

Make your daily monument the Ego,
Use a masochist’s epistemology
Of shame and dog-eared certainty
That others less exacting might forgo.

If memory’s an elephant, then feed
The animal. Resist revision: the stand
Of feral raspberry, contraband
Fruit the crows stole, ferrying seed

For miles… No. It was a broken hedge,
Not beautiful, sunlight tacking
Its leafy gut in loose sutures. Lacking
Imagination, you’ll take the pledge

To remember – not the sexy, new
Idea of history, each moment
Swamped in legend, liable to judgment
And erosion; still, an appealing view,

To draft our lives, a series of vignettes
Where endings could be substituted –
Your father, unconvoluted
By desire, not grown bonsai in regret,

The bedroom of blue flowers left intact.
The room was nearly dark, the streetlight
A sentinel at the white curtain, its night
Face implicated. Do not retract

This. Something did happen. You recall,
Can feel a stumbling over wet ground,
The cave the needled branches made around
Your body, the creature you couldn’t console.

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Georgic on Memory