Reconnaissance: First Draft


I’m forgetting myself again.
The first draft has gone and that
recognition drifts inside my head,
airily guests and settles there
like some unfamiliar ghost-
“Who was I?”

I count nineteen memories of me-
that’s all,
before the age of six; nineteen instances,
perhaps ten minutes totalled.
My future in some unseen hour.

Yet we could hear our mums
mutter and coo, couldn’t we?
Preservatives of personalities past.
As memento vivo: they knew who we were.

Only, now we no longer have
the forgotten monologues of long-dead parents,
just memories of photographs
fading with age.

And we say we would never want to dement
but already are demented versions of our childhood selves.
We are gone,
lost in an ever-present present,
sleepwalking our way out of our tiny minds.

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