Memory Struggles

I have been trying to write a memoir story for several weeks, and it is not working out because I am having trouble remembering events and experiences in my life. I am also a mom and a full-time teacher, and these two things take up a lot of my time and headspace, so it’s been difficult to indulge in the deep thinking and creativity that helps me organize my thoughts. So all I’ve got for now is a poem about this disorganized inner state of being.

 

I wanted to open with an airy lightness,

some easy brilliance that reads with a musicality to it.

But it’s not like that at the moment.

 

I am again in the midst of a wishy-washy voyage ...

I know that makes me sound like a toy in a bathtub,

and that’s what it is, with no knowledge of the child

who is supposed to get me out of here,

but who instead splashes water all over the place

and thinks I like it.

 

Sometimes (no, often) I ask myself what it would be like

if I could follow my dreams;

but that would require recognizing them,

and—believe it or not—at 40 years old, life is still

nebulous for me.

 

Perhaps I’ve been in the bathtub too long

and become accustomed to being at the mercy of

the blithely innocent; this child and I

are going nowhere together.

I don’t go outside to play, and

I’ve never seen the ocean.

 

I must always brace for the turmoil,

not the wind; there is a vastness

that eludes me.

The only memories that come to me

are of the filling, splashing, and draining

that have always happened.

Every day is yesterday.

Abena Ntoso
English Teacher
Teacher