Poetry Post

Memory

 

I learned

long ago

there are 50 words

for all the rain

that falls in Seattle.

 

I didn’t know

until yesterday

there are 56 types

of memory.

 

The human brain

they are mapping it.

There may be more

Than 56 types of memory.

 

This is why

Sean from the third

grade

pops up

in my dreams

on a regular basis.

 

This is why

my daughter

can’t recall

her best friend’s name

but she remembers

a poster from

a trip we took

to the Pike

Place Market

five years ago.

 

Fifty-six.

Any way

you slice it

you find error.

Some people

are masters at

55 types of memory

but the 56th version

really

throws them

for a loop.

 

Some kids have

all the luck

sorting sounds

easily letters spin

on a gerbil wheel

above their left

ears until the

sounds make sense

sorted.

 

Other equally

determined

students

go the long way

around

maximizing the right side

of their brains

never sorting those sounds

learning to read by going

over the river and through

the woods and up Mt. Everest

getting to the chapter

book summit

oh, just a wee

bit later

than those born

the right way

kids.

 

Oh Stop!

You say.

Everyone has something

cancer, rampant lice

that returns

again and again,

fine hair

that just won’t

hold a curl.

 

Get over

yourself!

Your girl

can pick up

a tune

in three minutes

flat.

How is that

for a memory trick?

 

And that

thing she does?

The one where

She hears the word

“pee” when you say “be”?

How endearing is that?

How else

would we

get our amusement

around here

if not for laughing at

the wrong words

coming out of

her mouth?

 

Why is

laughter

so close

to tears?

 

Fifty-six

types of memory.

This lesson

stops me in

my tracks.

The world is

more complicated

and lovely

than I thought possible.

copyright NSA 2012

 

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