To My Sisters and Brothers
Little blue eyes looking up from the oyster shells,
crispy pencils of reeds beached and dried,
my father laboring hotly over the hull of the boat,
all perfectly clear.
What are the details of a fog?
Memories that had to go far away,
stripped down, fragmented.
Unwanted sensations, but no place
no pattern of the wallpaper
no light. No feeling of the rest of my body,
if I have one,
no person doing this to me.
Dizziness pulls my body backward in a spiral.
This fog is my fog
this lack of detail is the tale I must tell.
Others have wandered the same landscape.
At the edge of the downward spiral path
is a hut where pilgrims may rest.
I see their footprints in the dust.
And I know I have built this labyrinth,
I have called back the little girl who leads me there.
I told her, I believe you, I am listening
so she could speak, though her speech had no words.
When these words make our scenery appear,
it is a magic we are doing
writing our life into existence.
It is an offering to the others,
our sisters in the fog.
This poem is from my memoir, The River of Forgetting