The Memories You Save

The Memories You Save

Faces of strangers life allows me to see,
but I know it is the same for so many.
It seems that is how it must be.
And I know I must not complain,
as my fish pond fills
with the chill of summer rain,
and memories rise unbidden in my mind
of one fair friend who I knew would not betray,
would be constant as she was kind,
but when you meet by chance,
the time you have is too soon left behind.

“I am a potter,” she said.
“My pots, my paintings on canvas,
the things I made, I left in store.
An old man, one of the fisher folk,
let me leave them in a hut on the coast,
on a cliff, above the shore.
So all my stuff and first memories
are locked up, safe in there.
It was hard, to lock it all up,
but I have the copper key.
My works will not get wet by the sea.
Thoughts of the wind worries me,
and the rain, beating on the wood walls,
but there are no cracks in the windows,
no holes in the roof.
My works will stay dry.
I lived in Dark Cove,
I left a man there, who I cared for the most.
He had this great beard,
and he really cared for his dog.
And I flew away from my home, Newfoundland,
went up high in an aeroplane.
It was strange for me, to look down on the clouds.
Never travelled so far before, not in the sky.
Now here I am in this hotel in Braemar,
working as a waitress, to put pennies in my purse.
I think I would like to spend some time
living with a shepherd.
This is why I like to sit at my window.
Look at the stars. The Great Bear has gone hunting.
It is late now. You do not have to go.
My mother never wanted me to be a potter.
Maybe a lawyer or something.
This drawing I am working on now is of a tree spirit.
You see, my grandmother was an Indian lady.
Her tribe lived far in the north.
They were beautiful, but you cannot live like that now.
That’s why I have these cheek bones,
these eyes, this skin, this hair.”
She paused then, looked at me, and said:
“I suffer from the same loneliness.”
There was silence then.
Nothing more could be said.
Now I am back where I am now.
The memory draws in
and draws away again.
To love and to be loved,
they say that is what
the heart will always crave.
And so when it comes to you,
the memories you save.

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