Everyday Poems: #1, “Memories of the Future Past”

Dusk

It all started in eighth grade…I think. I’d been secretly enjoying poetry since fifth grade, but in Junior High I started writing my own. Unfortunately they were not very kind. I was trying to be funny and that meant making fun of other kids. But even in the midst of those sins, something happened that was good.

A few kids liked them. They worked.

And so for years, I wrote and wrote and wrote and sometimes let my parents read themĀ  and sometimes I would present one to a girl. And those all mimicked U2 lyrics probably. I still have those notebooks but I am terrified of opening them.

My love of reading and writing poetry can wax and wane. But there is always a current underneath, longing to read and write a line that stretches out and up into the reality we all know is there but just don’t have words for.

Starting today, I’m going to post a poem everyday. I’ve got enough in my bag to get through a few months. Some will be really short because I love short poems packed with lots of meaning. Some will be serious and every now again, there will be levity. My hope is just like that poem making fun of my friend Scott in eighth grade, these will be hospitable for those not all that used to reading poems outside of a greeting card.

Along the way, I will try to introduce you to some real poets.

This first poem goes back a few years. And I think the hope within it is of some value during this weird time. It’s got legs and maybe wings. Feel free to add in “fears from a pandemic” to the list.


Memories of the Future Past

Remember those summer nights
when you were young
and dusk hung in the air
like that kiss
from the girl around the corner?
And the fireflies
lit the yard of freshly cut grass?
And your dreams were bigger
and brighter than the mirror-ball moon
hanging among stars
you pretended to throw into the night sky?
One day.
One day, my friend.
It will come with no end.
And our parents
in all their forgotten strength
will lay down their newspapers
and their dish rags
and join you in the joy
as the screen door slams shut behind them.
The ice cream churn will hum
and the smell of the community pool
will lie thick upon your sunned skin
and you will crave the breeze traveling
fast like the trains
you hear down in the valley.
It will come with no end.
And the tears of cancer
and the tears of Alzheimers
and divorce
and all the broken-hearted times will end
and give way to a taut thread of moments
that taste like the honied memory of dusk unending.