Showing posts with label Memory Loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Memory Loss. Show all posts

Sunday, September 15, 2013

All Your Places

a blurry photo © 2013 Jennifer Wagner

say the names

and see them
like your eyes have hands
to touch them

say the names—aloud
of the places
where all your blood and bliss were sown

say the names

to your children, speak them,
so they can say them
back to you when you’ve grown old

© 2013 Jennifer Wagner

Kim Nelson invited us to write a poem about The Places You Love inspired by Sherry Blue Sky’s poem Saying the Names with Love which was inspired by Al Purdy’s poem Say the Names.  I wrote three, but the other two I am still messing with so I am going to link this one to Verse First (very late) and to The Poetry Pantry.  I was really moved by Sherry’s and Al’s poems and when I had read them I immediately thought of a recent trip I took to the Grand Coulee Dam.  I learned that during construction of the dam the reservoir flooded many tribal lands and cultural sites of the local American Indian tribes as well as causing salmon and other fish to be unable to migrate.  I know the dam is very valuable because of the hydroelectric power it generates and irrigation it provides, but these words of Alex Sherwood in this photo from the exhibit brought tears to my eyes.  I kept going back to read them again.  What if my most favored places, the most meaningful to me in my history, were gone or severely altered?  Or, as I have been doing some reading on memory loss, what if it was me who was altered and could not remember “my” places?  I also love the personification Alex gives the river in his words.  His words are poetic to me.  These are long process notes for what is a short poem, so thanks for bearing with me if you stayed to read this long!  Maybe I’ll feel satisfied enough to post the other poems I’ve written inspired by this prompt at a later date.