I don’t remember the house where I was born
nor the first words that I spoke,
first steps, first smile.
I don’t remember the day I started school
nor the first time I saw the sea.
The first ride on a train,
a plane, forgotten with familiarity.
I don’t remember the last time I saw my dad
or the last living look of my mother
nor my grandmother’s words before I left home.
I don’t remember why we broke up,
the words that were said or the colour of the sky.
If only, I say, I had known,
all these last times, these first times
I would have stored away,
hidden in a box beneath the bed
to take out and polish,
hone like a hunting knife
and let the memories dig, gouge, bite,
for the pain at least would remind me
that I once spoke and loved and lost
in that distant world full of yesterdays,
drifting away into the mists of oblivion.