Responding to a Prompt #SOL2023

I read the word “memory”

and lift my chin,

unease spilling and spreading inside.

I pause, wondering at this cracking open.

I look again, at this prompt asking me to “find a memory”,

to go back

and to write.

But, excavating the recesses of experience

feels fraught, as if I may discover

some time smoothed over,

a moment missed in comprehension,

which only now finds shards slung and dodged –

splinters just below the skin,

shims invisible in daylight.

This house startles me, cries for renewal in creaks from her hundred year old frame.

Then, I wonder – what stories live in these wooden beams and bracing?

Her memories hold it all;

then and now in this moment,

and this old body brings me back.

“If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much that you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

4 thoughts on “Responding to a Prompt #SOL2023

  1. Thank you for sharing your understanding; this is what I was trying to communicate. I love how you phrase this as walking through doors and having to look around. Yes, we do have to do this, despite how painful.


  2. What a powerful poem. Some lines that stand out to me include, “excavating the recesses of experience/ feels fraught” – for its metaphor, its sounds and its multiple possible interpretations – and “shims invisible in daylight” for its assonance and imagery. Dang.
    I notice, too, how you move from your memory to the house to the body – the embodiment of memory, if you will. And then, the quote. Fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

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