by Thomas Davis
A life piles up in heaps of moments locked
Inside a memory that sputters like
An engine on a day when trees are frocked
In ice and cold coagulates and strikes
Into the spirit of mechanics, heart
Of arrogance engendered by humanity.
My mother, eighty-five and still as smart
As when a forest fire compelled her family
To flee the lumber camp in Colorado,
Remembers how she acted when a plate
Of deep-fried whistle-pig, her mother’s bravado,
Seemed like the inevitability of fate.
But yet she has no memory of what
My father faced at Anzio Beach in World War II
Where death walked sandy shores and lives were cut
From life as sunrise glinted light from morning dew.
My wife walked out onto a ridge as lines
of light streaked clouds down from a thunderous sky.
She did not see the stallion in its prime
Half merged into the land, its wild, deep eyes
Fixed on small tufts of dried-out grass and weeds–
Her life encased by all the great immensities
Surrounding her and him and all the seeds
Of memory that bloom, meander, flee.