Wednesday, January 22, 2014

After a While You Forget (Poem 295)

After a while you simply forget. 
You forget how to stand up, to sit 
   down, and how to move. 
You forget how to walk with liquid strides,
   how to swim 42 long, silent laps, 
   while shafts of sunlight sink
   into the cool tourmaline pool.
You forget how to talk to people 
   you meet while lingering over a
   mediocre Malbec on a shady patio, 
   how to chat with that sweet girl in 
   the pet store, who always looks at you 
   with a curious concern i
   her rain-colored eyes.
You even (and not infrequently) forget 
   how to organize your thoughts into an 
   email to a friend from back home.
You certainly forget how to climb across
   seaweed-slick boulders at low tide,
   plucking hermit crabs from tide-pools
   to marvel at their affronted bravado 
   and the perfection of their tiny claws.
After a while, you even forget how 
   to dash across a snowy intersection
   for a five-dollar slab of 
   moist, gritty pretzels from a guy 
   with a shopping cart at Sixth and Vine,  
   and, you realize with a soft whoosh 
   of surprise, 
how to settle into the low-slung wobble
   and sway of the subway 
   on your way to 'the Vet' for 
   a Twi-Night Double Header 
   on a July afternoon so hot and 'umid
   that the air feels oxygen depleted, 
   as if it had already been breathed.

 (c) 2014, by Hannah Six

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