Why can’t I remember the way you smelled
the way you felt, the things you said
the day that grandpa died
When you held me to you
The only hug I can salvage from my past?
Why can’t I remember what you said the first day of kindergarten
When I slapped the teacher’s face
and squirmed out of her arms
Like a bar of wailing, wet soap slipping down the street ?
Why don’t I know how you felt those many years I left you longing for your son
In the silent house, that empty room,
With your restless maternal hands
Grasping at the ghosts in my room?
Why can’t I remember what you said that final Sunday
When your voice scratched across the miles
A phone line heavy with forgotten words
In a moment that will never be again?
Why can’t I remember?