Does your life eventually condense into just a few stories?
The ones you still remember? The ones that won’t let you go?
Nuances of a long life fade under
the weight of so many years, so many memories.
I talk like my grandmother has Alzheimer’s
but she doesn’t.
Yet she told me the same story last night
about her mother and the drunk doctor
about the botched delivery –
But it wasn’t botched we all got you! –
but tonight she tells it as if she were her mother,
I instead of she.
She talks of walking a long way to the doctor because the baby was coming.
“And then I couldn’t have anymore children.”
She had four children.
It chills me to the bone,
But there’s warmth, as if the sympathy brings her close, she and her mother,
as if in telling the story, her stories, she is keeping her mother alive.
That moment passes and we are snorting with laughter over diary passages 80 years old
“the problems of a teenager…” she says,