Silt – A Poem by Michael A. Griffith


Submitted by Michael A. Griffith

I am beginning to forget more than I care to remember.
Turn out the light and I may forget what is in the room.
I remember Batman and Robin wearing their underwear
on the outside and The Joker had a mustache.
Did I remember to change my underwear today?

I am wondering if I knew you or if I know you.
No, you: you there.
Faces, not names, come to mind.
And smells and sounds wash off decades of silt,
and some details come to the surface like dead fish.

I am ending. I go on ending. I go on worrying when
I can’t remember my way home.
Did you remember to call me like you said you would,
or am I remembering the last time you said you’d call me
and come take me home?

About the Poet

Michael A. Griffith lives in Hillsborough, NJ and teaches at Raritan Valley
Community College. He began writing poetry to help his mind and spirit stay
healthy as he recovered from a life-changing injury and its resulting disability.
His poems, flash fiction, essays, and articles have appeared in many print and
online publications and anthologies. His chapbook Bloodline will be released in
fall 2018 by The Blue Nib. You can find more of his work here.

Painting: Man in a Bowler Hat – Rene Magritte

22 thoughts

  1. Not unfamiliar musings. Well composed.

    ~~~~~ ~ ~~~~~

    I place a call upstairs
    To the library and archives
    Where the old retainer’s stationed
    Twenty-four seven (long hours, I admit
    But they’re pretty simple tasks)

    I’d like to access some word
    Some book, some film, some name
    Some person’s face or history
    “Please,” I say, ever so politely
    I always say “Please”

    And “Thank you very much” as well
    Hoping of course (as the brightest
    Among you will have guessed)
    That this carrot approach will
    In time improve his performance

    The stick approach is
    In my humble opinion
    Morally repugnant
    (And in practice
    Counterproductive anyway)

    The doddering voice
    Remains silent
    While in the silence
    In the distance
    I can discern

    Those doddery footsteps
    Receding among the stacks
    Will he return, I wonder
    Sometimes he’s gone for hours
    For days even

    Perhaps it’s time for superannuation
    But he was always so loyal
    And reliable in a crisis
    Besides if I were to retire him
    I’d get to wondering who’d be next

    1. Ben Naga,
      Superannuation is not that bad, but a person needs to be ready and wants it. In some cases, of course, they need the push. The mind what it will do and not do for us.
      I enjoyed your poem, good imagery with wise feelings and words.

      1. So glad you enjoyed it. Mainly a metaphoric why exploration of my own ageing process – and perhaps a reader’s – and a reflection on Michael’s piece. 🙂

  2. Michael A. Griffith
    What a challenge it is when the mind has an erasure more so on some days. Healing our brain, mind, memory is arduous and frightening too when the erasure has been far too active. I can’t imagine what this would be like except for the odd senior moment. My husband has dementia and I can see it all from the outside, but inside, within I cannot.
    Your poem is marvellous, expressed beautifully.

  3. Poetry is meant to touch emotions, sometimes gently and sometimes with a strong grip. The later is spoken here and it is communicated so well. Love this piece. Brian’s taste in the art that accompanies the poetry in Vita Brevis is uncompromising and very refreshing.

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