Whisper of the Wind

Emily Korbel

Does the wind remember where it’s
been Or only where it will end 
Does it yearn to linger on 
To listen to the bird’s song 

Can the wind choose to stay 
By the beach making the hammock
sway Hearing the rustling of the leaves
Watching the sun bring on the eve 

The wind continues on its quest To
traverse forward with no rest
Savoring each moment until it
passed Ultimately knowing it will be
the last 

Does the wind remember or only
forget The sorrow of life’s regrets 
Highs and lows of adventure
dim Now just a whisper of the



Greta Ainsworth

Oh why am I in this room? 
What did I come here for?
I guess I’ll turn right around
And walk back out the door.
Oh yeah, now I remember
I turn right back around
Only to get distracted by 
The t-shirt on the ground
Now what was I doing? 
And where’s my cup of tea?
What was I going to do today,
My brain is failing me
So now the day is over
The sun is going down
Oh, now I remember
I was going into town.
I go right to the door
But cannot find my keys,
Here’s where my story began
Lost keys, forgotten. Oh geez.



Alexues Laverty

There are times when I’m walking backwards, and I trip over something I thought was lost.

Lost images glisten out of  my mothers voice, “ my baby … my baby” followed by the aroma of chanel.

Journaling everything, so I don’t lose grip of what was. 

Yet I still forget.

I am. I am the most forgetful person. 

I yell at myself “why won’t it just stick?!”

“is there something wrong with me ?“

Exploring every inch of my castle of adoration, with high brick towers of thirst for passion 

I still end up gazing through open windows, then unknowingly…everything I scraped off of the enlightened walls, blown out. 

I am. I am the most forgetful person. 

On the other side of my castle there are statues of sharp wittedness and bright white weapons … swords of discernment. 

Intimidated by these statues, I suddenly remember, I put my distress on my King, asking for guidance, and knowledge. 

We all forget Him. 

There are times when I’m walking backwards,  and I trip over something I thought was lost.

Lost images glisten out of  my mothers voice, “ my baby … my baby” followed by the aroma of chanel.

Journaling everything, so I don’t lose grip of what was. 

Yet I still forget.

I am. I am the most forgetful person. 

I yell at myself “why won’t it just stick?!”

“is there something wrong with me ?“

Exploring every inch of my castle of adoration, with high brick towers of thirst for passion 

I still end up gazing through open windows, then unknowingly…everything I scraped off of the enlightened walls, blown out. 

I am. I am the most forgetful person. 

On the other side of my castle there are statues of sharp wittedness and bright white weapons … swords of discernment. 

Intimidated by these statues, I suddenly remember, I put my distress on my King, asking for guidance, and knowledge. 

We all forget Him. 



JR Pearson

As a boy growing up I could recall or remember everything with my brain.
Today as I am getting older my brain seems more like a drain.
Most people have no worries at my age.
To be honest I am not scared of death or growing old I am full of faith, hope and courage.
Let me tell you what it is that I fear. 
Alzheimer and dementia which I am told there is no cure. 
I have been in a battle with cancer during my life.
I made it through the battle with faith, a lot of prayers, friends, family and my wife.
During my career as a State Trooper there were things most people never have seen.
Up close and handshakes from U.S. Presidents, Iowa Hawkeye footballs games being on the field or working a bad accident scene.
Especially those which a young person was killed in a bad accident on the roadway.
As a State Trooper I had to notify the parents and tell them their son or daughter had been killed, always looking for words to say.
Those memories remain with you for years.
From time to time you recall those moments in your mind and then come the tears.
All those emotions are held inside.
Feelings you don’t share with anyone or open up but keep them tucked away to hide.
Because your wear a uniform you are supposed to be big and strong.
For those people who only see a cop as a person who only writes tickets are dead wrong.
We might all have things we would like to forget in our life or even in our day.
But I can’t imagine forgetting everything in my life today.
Lord, please keep my memory intact all the time as I go on into my golden age.
Let me have patiences, understanding and not go into a rage.
I have so much left to do and pass on to the younger generation.
I have so many holidays, family get together and other things to have for a celebration.
Those memories and experiences I have earned including this grey hair.
Because I do care and I understand life does not always seem fair.
I never want to forget the taste of a pie, especially a coconut cream. 
Forgetting is not is anything I want to experience in my life or even in a dream.


The Graft

Luliana Allen

The dust, the water and the gentle breeze,                     
That runs through veins and tissues and a beat of heart,                                           
To kill the roots and thrive apart                                   
Would quench the life itself and bring the long night freeze.                                                       
I tried in vain to reprimand the thought,                              
To leave behind what once was dear and close        
The touch, the whisper and the rose,                                  
The smell, the taste, the sounds were brought.                                                                 
The joy, the pain, and all the longing.                                     
To blot them out into oblivion ,                                    
To desperately recant  my being,                                        
And to go on and feign the living.                                                                                                  But, oh, there’s hope and there’s a gleam of light.        
A graft, a foreign branch in foreign soil                            
How can I leave behind my soul’s turmoil?                           
Forgetfulness? No, it will be content….


Fieldstones for a Chimney

Rachel Riordan

You forgot all their faces. 
Mine, my cousins and aunts and uncles
Even my father
To whom you were like a father yourself

And we weren’t allowed to visit 
When the whole world was shut down
Our names and faces slipped away until 
we had to introduce ourselves each time

You forgot who we were
But you still remembered the love.

You tried to leave a few times 
When memories of the house you built 
fleetingly returned
You’d take your walker and make it as far as the sidewalk 
But a guiding hand would find your elbow and you would follow, the picture gone, 
back to your room

You forgot all our faces
But your hands remembered 
Farm chores,
The things they built. 

And so you built a place for the birds outside your window
Just as you had built a home for your family with
Fieldstones for a chimney. 

Two tall feeders, a place for the birds to gather
Like we did at the card table in your kitchen 
Splashed by rainbows when the sun shone through the prisms hanging in your window

You didn’t remember me the last time I saw you
But I don’t mind
I think about you all the time
How you had a million kinds of off-brand soda (all delicious)
How you let us run through your cornfields in the evening summer heat
How we’d play cards after lunch at the table, bathed in rainbows
How we’d tell stories in your living room and admire 
the fieldstones you chose for your chimney


Trying to Forget

Guy De Haan

It was just another evening in Novembernothing special or unusual to remember. 
Seven of us eight kids were home for the evening meal. I was fourth oldest, nearly thirteen…but no big deal. 

After the dishes were done, us kids usually got to watch TV. He often joined us, but tonight that was not to be. We were watching a comedy show…so much fun. When his voice boomed out, “Guy, come here boy…run!” 

Oh no,” I thought, “why did he have to call my name?” But I instantly jumped up and ran…of course I came. He was standing by the kitchen table holding a door knob in his hand. Get downstairs, boy,” he barked, “on da vork benchget da oil can!” 

As I slipped past him, it felt like I was going down the ‘stairs of doom.‘ Of course I knew where his work bench was at the far end of the work room. The problem was, it was totally covered with all sorts of junkman oh man

Frantically I jumped up and down, trying to find that stupid oil can

As he hollered again, I was shaking so badly and about ready to quit. When I spotted a dirty white can with the words “Mobile Oilon it. Yes, that must be my oil can,” I thought with a sigh. And I ran back up stairs with a tear of relief in my eye. 

I placed the can gently on the table a little to his side

But as he reached for the can, his face turned beet red and his mouth opened wide… “Vat da Vorld!” he screamed in his yankee dutchand lunged into the air. But I was already out the door and flying down the stairs

My bare feet never touched the steps as I crashed on my knees. Surprisingly, he landed on top of me, never hearing my pleas. He was growling like a mad animal right into my ears… kicking and punching me, never seeing my tears

Scrambling and crawling, I dragged myself along the rough floorfinally reaching the work bench, but not able to get out the back door. There he continued to pummel me till I peed in my pants. 

In a daze, I wondered if any help was comingbut sadly, not a chance! 

I lay there shaking for the longest timebroken and soiled. Shaking and sobbing and hating…hating him, till I boiled

I was hurt, angry and all alone as I somehow made it to bed that night. I was so perplexed, but at some point, life went onwhat a fright

I still remember every detail of that night, nearly sixty years later. I will always regret what I had becomea father hater

I know God has forgiven me, so I will forgive him, again…and yet I’m still trying…trying so hard…trying to forget! 



Sarah Hunkele

Today I realized that I am forgetting. 

As we sipped coffee this morning 
At our favorite local shop,
We sat in the sunshine 
And listened to the birds calling. 

You said, “Remember when?” 
And I didn’t. 

But I’ve decided that that’s okay. 

Because it means we’ve been together
For so long, the memories are piling up.
We have so many moments together,
That I’ve lost a few. 

So you’ll keep track of some, 
I’ll keep track of others, 
And a handful here and there may slip away –
But only because we keep making new ones.


Remembering Not to Forget

Molly Vander Wert

Forgetting you, 
is the hardest thing to do. 
You will always be here, 
in my heart near and dear. 

I watched you take one last breath, 
knowing that it was your death. 
It was just me and you, 
forgetting that moment I will never do. 

Yet, I do wish to forget. 
It is something I deeply regret. 
In the future I will be thankful, 
but as for now it’s too painful. 

On that cold winter day, 
I watched you whittle away. 
I lost you at the mere age of twenty three. 
I asked myself how could you just leave me? 

I am starting to forget the feeling of your hugs. 
The smell of folgers coffee in your mug. 
Your beard kisses on my cheek. 
Remembering you makes me feel weak. 

I remember you at all the wrong times, 
giving me a pile of emotions I cannot climb. 
How can I forget my losses of control? 
From you not being here, but only in my soul. 

Grief holds on so tightly. 
I am forgetting this world that I once remembered so brightly.
Now I see the world in a different way, 
because you are too far away.

I forget who I am in the midst of this deep grief,
there is no such thing as relief. 
It is not just about forgetting you, 
I am losing all of who I am too. 

However, I did remember you today, 
and as well as yesterday.
I try to talk about you often, 
somehow it makes me feel less broken. 

You still are the biggest part of me, 
a part that will never leave. 
I love you too much to completely let you go, 
and now from up above you will continue to watch me grow.


(Don’t) Forget

Amy Herdegen

So many things I can’t forget to do
Can’t forget the lessons I need to teach you 
Like change your socks and underwear
Brush your teeth and comb your hair.

Pack yourself a nutritious lunch
Solve a problem without throwing a punch
Put on those cleats, get to soccer practice on time
Spend money wisely, even that nickel and dime. 

Eat leafy green vegetables at every dinner
Be a humble loser and a gracious winner
Finish your homework, the reading and math
Scrub off the dirt to get squeaky clean in the bath.

Choose a healthy snack, not one filled with sugar
Blow into a tissue instead of eating your booger
Run to first base, not straight to third
Be quick to listen, slow to make yourself heard.

Resist the wrong and embrace what is right
Know when to back down, when to put up a fight
Shut off your worries and quiet your mind
Choose love before judgement and always be kind.  

So many things I long to forget
I need your forgiveness for all I regret.
For times I yelled instead of showing grace
Times I ignored the tears on your face. 

Days when I’ve wasted hours on my phone
You wanted my attention but sat there alone
I didn’t come running when I heard you call
I wasn’t there to pick you up from that fall. 

I counted down the minutes until you went to bed
Could have held you and read your favorite book instead
I was too exhausted and distracted to pray
For your provision and protection as you went about your day.

Conversations I avoided and hugs I withheld
I pointed out your faults, those times you rebelled 
I failed to recognize the wonder in your eyes
To patiently answer all your whats and your whys.

I pushed you and pushed you, wanting you to succeed
When acceptance was simply your greatest need. 
The harsh words spoken I couldn’t undo
I missed chances to say, “I’m so proud of you!” 

All these things I cannot forget
So many of them I want to, and yet
Please remember this one thing always
I’ll love you, dear child, all of my days. 


Remember the Taste

Elizabeth Ridge

Placed words choked on
Back on
My tongue
Back in
My lungs
As I, 
    well I must’ve forgotten
Who gave them
I must’ve…yes
I most certainly had forgotten
What they tasted like
As I gasped
For Air to clear the sentences
The chorus of audible pain
From my chest
And I’ll be stronger the next time
I won’t try to swallow them whole
One letter at a time
Like a child

I will chew them up
Spit them out
Never forget the concoction
Of poison that used to trickle down my tongue
Never forget the way they sounded
The way they felt when they ran down my shoulders in warmth
Then, how they forked my tongue
And drug me through hell.

I will chew them up
And spit them out.

I will never forget the words
That used to gag me
I will never disregard the way
I let them get caught with a smile

As I choked on everything
I used to think was love.

I will never forget how they rotted my teeth
Made me lose sleep
How I let them cut my tongue
And silence me

I kept going back for more
Thinking this will all be for something

But I forgot what that was now

When I tasted Air for the first time
The kind that didn’t hold room for those words
The freshest Air I had ever known
So crisp that it cut me free

Now I will never forget the dimness I had
The sadness I cherished
The bent spine cracked from words
Too heavy for a little girls back

Heed warnings to all,
Don’t forget the words that
Aren’t quite gone.
Don’t go down right
The ones that don’t sit right
That twist your gut up
And keeps you up at night
Don’t forget the words that
Took you out at the knees
Knocked dust into your lungs
Laughing a thanks with echoes of more please

Don’t excuse words that mask
Pain from a chunk caught in your trachea

I’ll never forget
Digging myself out of the coffin
I nailed shut with words promised
Words that I heard
Words my own traitorous mouth
Vomited out
And now,
I’ll never misplace 
The broken dirty nails and the first breathe of Air
That gasp when the weight of the words left my soul. The lightness of

Words are just words.
Holes are just holes.
Tears are just tears.
I am just me.
Misplace who I am
So I’ll never forget
The words
That I could never be.



Dana Van Gent

As the years pass by, I revisit moments from time to time.  
Some come easy like an old friend, stretching legs as the sunlight shines on the front, and others like an unwelcome guest, peering through the shutters and slipping in the back. I don’t always expect their arrivals,  
and certainly can’t say how long they’ll stay.  
There are times I listen for the bell, waiting for its familiar ring. 
It does sound eventually, and I’m pulled into a warm embrace.  
Other times, it’s a steady knock, disrupting our exchange.  
But they’re coming less now. Without them here, it’s quiet and sometimes dark.  I open doors to empty stoops, and I wonder if I’ve done something to offend,  or whether they’ve simply lost their way.  
But I haven’t moved, and I’ll keep the kettle on.  
I’ve got a place for them, and I’m waiting… 
….until then. 



Lindsey Golliet

Walk into the kitchen,
Stop then in my tracks.
Look around quite thoughtfully,
Shrug and walk on back.

Knew a reason I had stood,
But blank now is my mind. 
I wonder if I’ll ever know
What I had come to find. 



Joyce Spurr

The mirror on the wall whispers to me,
You are old.
Not my idea, getting old.
But I am.

I forget how it happened.
It just did.
Without my permission
I am old.

The old in the mirror is honest.
Shiny hair now gray.
Dull wrinkles pattern once supple skin,
Yellowing teeth.
Revealing a vision reverse my memory.
An old I do not wish to be.

Sighing, I turn from the mirror.
Is that a glimmer of hope?
Memory returns.
The reflection in the glass fades away.

No longer am I trapped in the concept of old.
The image in the mirror does not define me.
My soul is unrestrained by old bones, Unhindered by labels.
I choose to refuse the restrictions of old.

Take that, Mirror!
I am not old!
Forget old.
Let’s party!
We have life to celebrate!


Muscle Memory

Mary Chaffin

The poet sighs, puts down his pen.
It seems he has forgotten again. 
The fellow shakes his head and he laments.

“Oh, to be a younger man!
With wit afresh, enlightened, and-
I know I’ve an idea, but it’s gone.”

His eyes alight, the paper calls.
Frantically, his old hand scrawls
To catch the inspiration ere it dies.

And then the screeching to a halt.
His brain continues its assault 
Of being completely blank against his will.

He squints into the light above
As if doing so will somehow shove
The words out of the trap inside his mind.

“I’ve got it now!” He cries aloud,
Springing up and feeling proud.
What a clever plan he has to find his words!

He scampers out into the hall,
Slamming the door, giving his all,
Then wheels around, his hand upon the knob.

Breathing deep, he opens the door
And ambles lightly across the floor
And comes to rest again at his oak desk

With a sly smile, pen in his hand
He thinks to himself, “Oh, isn’t it grand,
That my muscles remember better than my brain?”


Remembering What I’d Rather Forget

Jennifer Beeler

What makes a memory worth remembering?
Only the ones that don’t leave me trembling?
Should I only strive to store up the good?
Or are the hard memories just misunderstood?

The sweet memories are sure easier to hold onto,
New babies, celebrations, big ‘firsts’ – just a few.
I do believe I’d rather fill the caverns of my mind,
With love and laughter and things of those kind. 

But perhaps it’s the moments when I must suffer,
That give me grit; grow me a little tougher.
Maybe I shouldn’t block out the hard,
Or keep the difficult behind lock and guard. 

Sick children, appointments, a hospital room,
Moving from our hometown and learning again to bloom.
Should I block out these unexpecteds,
And keep my heart safe and completely protected?

Or maybe, just maybe, the key to it all,
Is not forgetting the experiences that made me fall.
Allowing God to take what I’ve withstood,
And use every bit of these moments for His good.

So show me, Lord, and thus keep me humble,
Let me be Your witness even when I stumble.
And help me use the things I’d rather forget,
To serve You and live a life of zero regret.


Forgetting Forward

Bethany Tangen

What was yesterday? What is tomorrow? 
Today, I’m forgetting turmoil and sorrow. 
Time is an endless memory 
Tomorrow, I begin my true story. 

To forget each day and move into the next, 
Gives us grace to erase our fails.
We lose our learning and misunderstood text; 
When we ignore what our memory entails. 

So we remember enough to carry on, 
Treasuring moments to value the dawn. 
When the new day begins, our memories bend; 
Forgetting, just enough to help us mend. 

Forgetting the ways I’ve veered off course, 
Remembering peace, there’s strength in remorse. 
Flared anger, regrettable raised voice; 
Forgiving myself, an unforgettable choice. 

As we start over, this seems familiar; 
Have we said this or done that? So peculiar. 
Forgetting before, but remembering after; 
Through terror’s tears and our laughter! 

Emotions wrestle, thoughts collected, 
Memories and thoughts are carefully selected. 
Recalling enough to hold boundaries while, 
forgetting just enough to reconcile. 

Memory fades, closed eyes in lament, 
And I reminisce forward for a moment. 
Past senses stimulate an absent thought; 
And suddenly, I pause; I forgot. 


A Robin

Valerie Brandt

Beautiful strong robin has returned!
He has forgotten the years past.
He has remembered only his summer home and he returns!
He quickly spies a mate, seeks a home,
Remains purposeful for just this season and then disappears,
Only to forget in the autumn as he flies away.



Karen Sytsma

Forgetting is easy – remembering is not.
It is a battle I have often fought.
Forgetting is a very common thing,
maybe around my finger I should tie a string.
It happens to all, young and old,
a note in my hand I should hold.
I lose my glasses, keys and shoe.
Oh, whatever am I going to do?
I get so frustrated, but I will smile and say,
“It’s ok. I’ll find them someday!”


A Mother’s Memory

Elizabeth Bailey

I might forget my coffee cup,
When thrice times I warmed it up.

I oft forget the laundry pile
And let it fester there a while.

But brown eyed baby, dressed in blue,
I could never forget you.


Do Not Etch Me Into Stone

Emily Martin

I sat on a smoothed stone,
ust above the high tide line
where sands shifted in the gusty winds.
Feet planted, 
another rock for the sand to cover. 

The shore glimmered as it blew,
never holding the same shape.
The constant transformation
Caught in the minutia of my

I dug my hands into the softness
and slowly uncovered a rock.
Sorrow poured into my heart
for this twinkling obsidian,
hidden from the beauty of the wild Ocean,
but the sand would shift again.
To a rock, 
a thousand years is nothing,
and to be buried is familiar.

I am not one to pray for mercy.
But here I am,
on bony bruised knees.
Worshiping at the altar of your shore,
whispering enchantments.
That I won’t be forgotten,
but instead I should be humbled,
by the universe,
by the fiery heart of the volcano,
which spewed rocks
carried by floods,
by the one in a billion odds,
I’d uncover this rock,
that I’d exist at this exact time,
to find this rock,
which may never see the sun again
and never care.

This stone, now exposed to salty spray,
will be my headstone,
no words written of my memory, 
but holding my essence,
forging together.

Do not etch me into stone.
Let me float away on riptides.
Hold close my fiery heart,
And let me know the love 
of the wild Ocean.



Rachel Van Zante

Confusion, bewilderment 
Once again a familiar introduction, but only to me 
Some days I swear I see you begin to decode but maybe not today 
We banter about my job, my wife, the kids 
I have it nowhere in my heart to tell you 
If I let you lead, it’s easier for you to be comfortable 
You raise from your creaky, squeaky rocking chair to check the driveway 
“Who is that?” 
“Mom, that’s Kathy, she comes to help you.” 
I know you can’t recognize the woman who has been here every day for almost 6 months, but you agree with me 
The progression sometimes feels so slow, but days like today remind me how quickly it’s happening “I love you mom, it’s time for me to go.” 
An extra second passes. 
“I love you too, Michael.” 
Every time I leave I let myself cry and grieve the woman you used to be 
It’s so hard watching you forget 
I instantly recognize your gait from across the room. It was something I studied for so long, Your unforgettable laugh fills the room. I loved making you do that. 
I don’t get to call you mine, in fact, I never truly did. I still dwell on the what-ifs, but I try not to. You’re with her now, I’m with him. We were ultimately two connected souls who just met at the wrong time. 
I can hardly articulate how much I wish I could feel you run your fingers through my hair as you pull me close one more time. 
For now, I’ll exit the room. Neither of us need an interaction at this party. A small part of me wonders if that’s why you so slowly walked away from me, it was just easier that way. That doesn’t really mean yesterday is gone, I still go there all the time. 
I hope I never forget. 
Another birthday card came in the mail today. I always let myself open them. I even used to keep them. 
“Love you, Dad.” No, I don’t think you do. Did you know that sometimes when I close my eyes I can hear you arguing with mom? I don’t like to be in the dark. 
When I put earrings in I let my hand trace the outline of my jaw. The feeling of layering makeup over a bruise just to go to middle school hangs off me like a fog. 
Did you know that I can’t sit in loud and hectic spaces? It overwhelms me and I break down. I can’t go to bars with my friends. 
It took years for me to shower without deadbolting myself into the bathroom. I have to constantly remind my mind that I’m safe alone in my apartment. 
I haven’t had a successful romantic relationship, ever. How do I know what love is supposed to look like? 
The DHS worker’s office, the full forensic exam, the lobby of the courtroom. 
I just wish I could forget.


Catch and Release

Alex Foley

At first, the cast felt real.
A show put on no longer
from the same cloth.
Half full the glass appeared.
Far closer to a few
strewn pieces
too sharp to pick up.
At last, the love did not.
Passed coldly along
like the Sunday driver
caught up in a rear view.
Half empty now the mirror
grows increasingly clear—
the right turn
was left behind.



Autumn Bennett

It’s a phantom limb that begs to be itched,
This feeling that slips through fingers
And rolls deep into my synaptic ditch.

In my car, passing blurred signal lights,
Smudged by rainy tears
In my mind, pain and joy continually fight.

I ask repeatedly for a reference,
A place to find purchase
For the points of my timeline to make sense.

Like finding the song of static,
The needle on the record player skips
Looking desperately for the melodic.

Hands desperately grasp into the mist,
Groping for anchor
And find nothing of something that should exist.

My mind juxtaposes the truth of the past,
With the forgotten memories
Convincing me that I understand it all, at last.

If only to time travel to the mists of yesteryear,
Step inside my body
And experience it full without fear-

Then…maybe then…I can know the unknown.



Rylie Shettler

“I don’t know you”  
Yes, you do  
“Please, get away”  
Just a minute ago you begged me to stay  

This is a disease  
And I watch as it breathes  
Its wretched pain and suffering  
Into someone who can’t even see  

What it’s doing to them  
What it’s doing to me  
How it shapes the world around us both  
And comes as swiftly as a cool summer breeze  

A breeze that takes me back  
To a day I see so clearly  
You held my hand as we walked along the beach 
Looked in my eyes, and told me you loved me dearly  

“I don’t remember”  
And that’s okay  
Or at least that’s what I tell you  
For the fear you’ll walk away  

You haven’t remembered my name since August
But you still know how to hum  
Along to your favorite songs  
Like the rhythm is in your blood  

It could be two years, maybe three  
That’s what the nurses say to me  
Because the strength your body holds  
Makes up for the lack of memory  

It’s all that makes you who you are to me 
Memories of laughter  
Of music, joy, and love 
But now you’re left with none of those  And I am left with grief  
You forget all that you are  
The last thing you had to eat  

I shake my fist at God  
And beg dementia for a cure  
But all it does is take and take 
And leaves you, Grandpa  
To forget you’re in its wake  


Forgot to Remember

Marianne Steensma

Come to me now
Lost my direction
Mind racing ahead
No stopping to listen.

Anxiety and fear
Too much commotion
Running around
Conflicting emotions.

Forgetting the truth
My very existence
Come to me now
I need Your assistance.

Make me aware
Break down defenses
Quiet my soul
Fill up my senses.

Forgot to remember
Now it is clear
Everywhere present
God proves Himself near.

His personal touch
Flows down my face
A remembering tear
A love-filled embrace.



Aimee Pastoor

My soul 
Feels like 
A ghost town. 

Filled with 
Empty, rundown 

And longing for 
What used 
To be. 

Each place 
Reminding me 
Of my past. 

Of something, 
Of someone 
That I’ve lost. 

It’s hard for me 
To look into
   The abandoned

And to glance at 
The memories 
Captured in time. 

Collecting dust, 
Fading as the  
years pass by. 

Wondering what 
Life would 
Be like 

If I had 
Not been 
I think my worst
habit Is convincing
myself That everyone 

Who comes into 
My life will 
Stay forever.


[Untitled] to: Loretta and Sam

Emily Ott

I forget
Who I tried to be
Before I met you

I remember 
When your foot drew circles on my knee
As you fell asleep

I forget
Where I have been
And with whom I went

I remember
To sew your torn clothes
And kiss the thread for luck

I forget to say yes
And join the effort 
How will anything be solved

I remember
To watch you walk away
What if you don’t come home

I remember 
The comfort of my mother
And her mother

I think I remember 
More than I forget 


I Blinked

Kathy DeVos

You’re at that age, they say, when you start forgetting things.
They mean where I put my keys and if I remembered to take my medication.

But here’s what I’m forgetting:
That my age qualifies me for meal discounts;
That I’m supposed to be slowing down;
That my babies will soon be having babies of their own;
That other people look at me and see old;
That my knees sometimes have a mind of their own;

That my tomorrows are fewer than my yesterdays.



Jean De Vries

This November birthday came and went and now
Now she’s sixteen years old
Now she’s taller than me
Now she fits in dresses I have long since left behind
Now she drives away all by herself to spend time with friends
Now I’m left behind.

Left here wondering how
How sixteen years flew by
How sixteen birthdays skipped over the surface of my life
How sixteen is old enough to drive a car
How come I can’t remember all of it.

It’s been a sixteen years and I can’t remember
Can’t remember the feeling of her hand in mine
Can’t remember the sound of her voice on the first day of kindergarten
Can’t remember the silly jokes that would make her laugh
Can’t remember the weight of her body as I would push her on the swing or pick her up in my arms or catch her at the bottom of the slide or lift her into her highchair.

All those days were like sunlight dancing across the floor
Glorious for the moments they lasted
Gone so quickly
Glimmers of memories of how good it all was.

I remind myself to soak in all that sunlight, all that goodness, all that beauty, and yet, I know
I know that even now as I look up into her eyes to talk to her, I am forgetting.

I am forgetting the teenage slang that she uses so frequently
I am forgetting the way she smiles shyly when I talk about that boy
I am forgetting the sound of her footsteps across my kitchen floor
I am forgetting the music she listens to
I am forgetting the songs she loves to play on the piano
I am forgetting the hours she spends practicing her trumpet
I am forgetting the way she swings her tennis racket
I am forgetting the smile she gives when she accomplishes something 
I am forgetting the questions she asks me about boys, about God, about life
I am forgetting the way she does her makeup
I am forgetting the fight we had on Tuesday
I am forgetting the way she says “Mom”.

I see all that beautiful good in front of me and I can’t catch it all in my hands
Even now, I am forgetting so much I want to remember.

And yet I know I can’t hold it all
So I settle for grasping tightly to the good things I won’t forget.

I won’t forget her eyes seeking me out in a crowd
I won’t forget the hours she spent filling our house with music
I won’t forget how crazy good it was to have her in our lives.

And I will try to remember
Remember that love is greater than memory
Remember that gratitude can cover a multitude of forgottens
Remember that there were ups and downs
Remember that I couldn’t hold it all in my hands, my head, my heart.

But it was there.
It was good.
It is good.
And my time with her was and will continue to be 
A gift of sunlight dancing across the floor.


Learning to Forget

Nathan Bruce

Growing up I heard it said,
“Always forgive and forget.”
As I’ve lived I found instead
It’s easier to forget to forgive.

At times I’ve managed to forgive,
But the memory is hard to out live.
As time goes on it seems to me
I seek an opportunity to dig up past iniquities.
If I sense the smallest slight,
My response is to fight
And recall the list of past offense.
I begin to build this fence
And push away my closest friends.

If left unchecked, then, in the end,
The thing forgotten is my friend.

So, what can I do; what can I say?
How can I keep my memory at bay?
How does one truly forgive and forget?

I think that the answer is to pray;
To ask the Lord to forgive my sin
And help me remember what he has giv’n.
When I ask His forgiveness,
My sins are as far as the East is from the West.

If I can remember all of my sin
That has forgotten and forgiv’n,
Then I can forgive and you can bet
That I can also learn to forget.


Forgotten Refuge

Lea Ladehoff

The world was in chaos
with voices so loud,
raging their fists 
in the maddening crowd.

Everyone shouting
Advancing their causes, 
screaming “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

Exhausted she wondered
“Where is this from?
Did they forget about kindness?
Did they forget about love?”

Her soul was so desperate 
for peace and calm,
but was there a place
to protect her from harm?

The battle burned on
with no end in sight.
The soldiers grew weary
but continued to fight.

Then the doors flew wide open
at that little white church.
Weeping with joy,
here ended her search.

A voice from inside beckoned her
At long last she’d found it,
her refuge, her home.

“Have you forgotten? 
This comfort you seek,
is free for the taking,
for the bold or the meek.

The battle’s not yours,
it belongs to the Son.
Rest now in my shelter,
it’s already won.”


Daddy’s Hands

Evelyn Lamb

Ever since I can remember, your hands were rough and stained from changing tires and oil or from working in the garden.
Your fingers were bent in places they’d never be straight again and some weren’t even as long as they used to be because of a few closer-than-close calls from cleaning fish.
But your hands were gentle enough to pat us on the back when we did a good job (or on the behind when we didn’t).
They were loving enough to hold each of your newborn grandchildren so close that for a moment we thought you’d never let go.
And they were tender enough to wipe away our tears of joy and sorrow.
Now your hands are forever a memory in my mind and in my heart.
I’ll never forget Daddy’s hands.


Memory Tape

Sarah Linde

I sit on my, couch 
And I pop in the tape. 
I have to hit rewind.

And there you are, 
In glorious, muted hues and static. 
It’s been a while since we last spoke.   

I can’t recall 
Your favorite food,
But your favorite color was
I can’t remember the names 
Of your best friends
But I remember 
How badly you wanted a tattoo.

I can’t remember exactly 
How your hair framed your face 
Or the exact features you had. 
I think your eyes were
You dyed your hair green too. 
But the way your 
Voice sounded,  
The exact conversations that made me
Fall in love,
All blur together
Like fuzzy static.

I think this tape is broken.
Looking back,
I wonder
How could I forget? 
How could those things that seemed so vital at the time 
Become lost
In the static of the screen?
Should I have written down
The freckles on your face?
Kept track as they came and went with the sun?

I hit play, and it all becomes

It’s like 
When I can’t find my phone  
Because it’s in my hand, 
And I can’t find my glasses 
Because they’re on my head. 
I can’t recall your face 
Because you were right in front of me.   

The tape plays on, 
Hits its end. 
It’s time to move on.

But wait, 
What did you look like? 
How many freckles were on your face? 
How did your voice sound?   

I sit on my couch, 
And I pop in the tape. 
I have to hit rewind.


Good Vibes Only

Aemelia Tripp

I remember you.
When a waft of the candle you once lit crosses my path, you are there.
When I see your eyes in my mind, blue as icy skies, you appear in front of me.
You walk next to me, holding my hand,
and I feel my heart quicken.
Sunny beaches aching with the last of summer’s rays.
Splashing in the waters of our love.
Only, those were the good times.
The golden hours, the lightning bolts that rushed through our moments,
illuminating only what they touched.
What I must search for in the cave of my mind are
withheld embraces, 
where we pushed each other away,
where we misunderstood.
These are the moments I sooner forget,
washed away by the lake on a warm, breezy day.


If There Is A Line (And There Is)

Emma Carlson

Can we be just our hands? Can I 
live in the palms of soft animals, pink 
and unharmed? Can you know yourself an heirloom 
and still feel new? 

All of us crunching on the same sweet apple, 
staring down the same full moon, 
walking across the same wild earth 
forever. If there is a 
line, it’s umbilical. If there is a line, what’s between? 
If there is a line, don’t let me go over — hold 
with all five fingers, call each of my names. If I pull 
hard and away, know I’m coming back. For you, 
I forget to leave. 

For you, I remember no one survives the body but also 
no one should. For you, I sit at the end 
of the world — the start, too — ask everyone, everything, 
forgive me, please. I was like a stout dog 
wanting on the couch. I was pressing two paws 
against your knee. I was panting out summer. I’m sorry 
if I got you dirty. I’m sorry for the smell. I’m sorry for my smallness 
and my heaviness, both at once, all in the being. I ask, 
forgive me, forgive me for being and wanting and pretending 
to sleep so you wouldn’t move. I need forgiveness. I 
need to be loved out of this world. I ask, warm and 
bright yellow, only a little afraid, 
I’ve walked so far for so long. Do you forgive me? 

and the answer is an echo, 
and the answer is a line, 
and the answer is the line curves into a circle — the first 
one you ever drew: lopsided and orange, 
as close as any human person 
can come to the sun.


I’m Forgetting You

Matthew Buyert

My Memory from those years ago

It was dark that night.
The wind was hard that the windows opened up on their own.
Rain flowed in and flooded the house.

You laid on the couch.
I wanted to tell you.
The thunder roared
And the lightning struck the house.

I could smell the smoke.
But I needed to tell you this!
It was either then,
  Or never!

I went up to you.
I tried telling you to wake up.
You didn’t respond.
You looked pale.

I felt your head…
I picked you up.

I forgot to tell you those feelings I had.
I forgot to say what I had on my mind.
I forgot to tell you I’m sorry for how I acted.
I forgot to say what really was meant to be.

I forgot to tell you I love you.
I forgot to tell you.
I forgot.


Forgetting the Dreadful Past

Brooke Mahaffey

My childhood was not easy
It will make your stomach queasy

I never wanted to get out of my safe warm bed
All the things that happen run through my head

I was always so scared
I wish I had more people who cared

I always felt like I was alone
I just waited and waited to be grown

I had become really tough
But eighteen wouldn’t come soon enough

My body and feelings became numb
I couldn’t even tell you what I would become

Thinking of my future
Instead of thinking of my abuser

This is what would get me through the day
It was the only thing that took the bad thoughts away

I would dream I was in a family that loved me
In those moments it finally felt like i was free

But who are we kidding 
Everyday i felt like quitting

Leaving this place they called a home
And finally getting to roam

This is what I dreamed of
I was ready to rise above

And leave behind all the memories that are haunting
I can’t wait till they are unable to keep taunting

In my future I hope it will not be a threat 
I hope one day it will leave my mind and I will forget

Someday I hope this will take place 
Until then I will learn to love and give myself some grace.


Rats on Broadway

John Thompson

It was Grizabella’s feline finale,
her muzzle dimming in ninth-life neon.
On cue,
the unhappy tabby
knew by kit instinct.
It was time to get her moonlit grief on.
the geriatric cat
crawled to grave, stage pavement,
perhaps a few paws past her glamourous prime.
Then, the demented diva delivered
a stray-cut stutter that caused
a clowder of first-row fur coats to quiver.
Mem –
Mem –
Oh, rats! Cat’s claws!
Psst, prompter. What’s my line?