Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jamais vu

Sometimes at night, driving
the road ghost-lit with street lights and reflected neon
children quiet in the backseat, gazing out the windows
or sleeping,

I forget.

The road, slipping past like a tar ribbon, is strange,
a moon-soaked cipher. a place I have never seen or been before.
alien and cold.

I stare and stare
my myopic eyes straining after a grace note of the familiar
my mind grasping at shadows, hunting up the pattern

Because I know, in my rational mind
(the part that debates and makes lists and runs imagined scenarios, that provides words and logic and being)
that there is nothing strange here. I have travelled this road before, many oh many times,
in daylight and in starlight. I know it. I know it.

Except, in that moment,
I don't. The pattern is 404 in my head, my brain scrabbling at it
like a climber grasping at falling shale
as it refuses to give purchase to the hand.

It passes, this. The strange-known becomes merely known again
The pattern is restored, and my car
sliding quietly on into the night
wends its way home.

And I tell myself: It's just because I'm tired. Or: I've had so much going on in my head.
True enough, but too,
a shout of defiance into the dark
that endless nighhttime of the damaged mind that claimed my grandmother
took from her all remembering, all understanding, and in the end
all she was.

I want to remember.

- Kathy

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