will they remember
from their childhoods?
If everything experienced
is somehow stored—
stitched into the brain’s cortical folds
like a heap of colorful rags
carefully braided and coiled
to make the rug underfoot—
which bits and pieces of memory
will present face-up,
to be felt and seen
and trod upon daily?
I would happily tinker with their minds—
to gently tuck out of reach the memories
of times I snapped at them in anger,
or to bring forward and shore up
their recollection of the days
when all was peaceful,
and love imbued every word.But I can’t control their minds
—nor mine, tonight,
as I snuff out a stub of candle
on our table, and its smoking wick
and heady scent bring on a wave
of remembering I didn’t expect:
the feel of a Christmas Eve
when it’s late and I am little,
full to bursting with rich food
and my wild impatience
for the morning.
© Sarah Dunning Park, 2011. All rights reserved. Used with permission.