Laura Grace Weldon

Forgetting Names

I can’t call up the familiar name of our vet
who walked out back with us through heavy snow
to check our feverish cow in this day’s quickening darkness.
My skittering memory
only shows me his thick hair and wise eyes,
his hand gently resting on the head of our old dog
like a blessing easily bestowed.

No name comes to my lips
although somewhere a space in my mind
prompts the letter D.
Eyes closed, I drift into that space
untangled like a fish freed from a net
swims gratefully into open waters.

There I remain, no thought at all
for long moments, when somewhere
behind my eyelids I see
a complicated garment
sagging at the shoulders where it’s held
as if by invisible hands.
I know this
is the lifetime my soul wears.

Vastness like a perfect secret stays with me
as I open my eyes,
remembering of course
we’re outfitted in ordinary guises,
going by names as if we are simply human.
And I recall the name he wears.
It’s Dave. 


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