Letters and Diary Poetry posted January 14, 2023 Chapters:  ...21 22 -23- 24... 

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An imperfect reflection on memory.

A chapter in the book Daydreams from the Ashes

Memory as Echoes

by K. Olsen

Is there anything stranger than memory?
Constantly mutable, yet fixed.
Fallible, yet indelible.
The elderly woman with dementia
who hears Tchaikovsky
and again moves her arms,
a graceful swan maiden.

Some keep images tucked away
for rainy days or lonely nights.
Others, snatches of melody,
or the comfort of a familiar voice.
But as I age, I find more is memory
a part, indivisible, of you:
visible in little ways.

A tea cup stirred back and forth,
because a brother absent years
said it was more efficient.
A splash of milk
into powdered hot chocolate
because a first crush made it that way.
A crossed number seven,
because in learning numbers
a father marked his that way.
Never dogearing a page,
even on cheap paperbacks
because a librarian mother
would have pursed her lips. 

My memory is not images or words,
but the echoes of people
stretching back into places,
even beyond conscious recall:
some shadowy impressions of dark emotion,
others vibrant and bold,
but every one of them lingering
like the hints of a swan’s beloved song
animating a self long obscured.

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