Memories: birthdays, holidays, deaths

All colored with the splatter of blood

On the wall and hair ground out

From the root and the hollow

Eyes that saw nothing

And the raw ears that heard nothing. 
I mark time with the lines the switch made:

Eight for my eighth. One less for ten. 
You remember the cake–your favorite–

And the visit from your mother

I remember the disarray

And his boot print on your shirt.
You remember the songs we sang

I remember my voice quavering


The baby, hurting myself so it would hurt less

Trying and failing perfection over and again 

Desperate to keep him happy. 
In the silence and the sound

I feel the calloused ridges

Of his palm; you remember it gentle

And protective

I remember the sting and dizziness. 
Now you forget and your eyes pretend

And I swallow past the lump in my throat

And I am careful not to make him angry

And every fist he makes 

Feels connected to the other fists that connected 

And you will not remember and 

Dammit, forget it, your eyes demand. 
But you will not remember

And I cannot forget.

That is the nature of memories.

And I have the scar, raised and straight

The perfect shadow of a half buried root. 

It lays somberly across my thigh;

I trace it every now and then.

I feel the blood that runs deep beneath

Wondering if it will ever break through.