Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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 kind gaze,
his hand gently resting
on our old dog’s head,
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
like a fish free of 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 simply human.
And I recall the name he wears.
It’s Dave.

"Forgetting Names" by Laura Grace Weldon, from Tending. © Aldrich Press, 2013.

Photography credit: "ortego petting dog," by unknown child photographer, found at this link (originally color).



  1. You've given such grace in place of the loss of ourselves we sometimes feel during these short memory lapses. Beautifully expressed. Thank you!


Thank you for participating respectfully in this blog's community of readers.