An Anti-Memoir – a poem by Don Brandis

 An Anti-Memoir
Our predictable memoirs if collected
recorded from their motley sources
would be strings of wishful kindly
(some far less kindly) lies,
as truths of what we were,
not what we wanted to be, are so boring
the ghostly future past
a small grey figure sits
on one shoulder, while on the other
is a patch of sunlight
they switch places now and then
it’s in their act
the CEO, the emperor, the dashing general
rock star, celebrity billionaire
trade off with a shimmering void
of strident bird call just before sunrise
of elevator doors opening
on someone we almost recognize
of walking a hallway
away from an ugly scene
where we weren’t at our best
but might have been
if the moment had been longer,
had included a pause that lengthened
if we used it to re-enter
that other self we always are
in that patch of shouldered sunlight
impending, quietly heralded
by an almost-foreign steadiness descending
with an implicit anti-memoir
as if we could have forgotten

Don Brandis is a retired healthcare worker living quietly outside Seattle writing poems.  Some of his work has appeared in Amethyst Review, Leaping Clear, Blue Unicorn, Poetry Quarterly and elsewhere.  His most recent book of poems is Paper Birds (Unsolicited Press 2021).

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