Remember when . . .

by Maisie Houghton

Remember when I would muse:
you attempted omelettes at Christmas breakfast,
we walked the field of Queen Anne’s Lace?
But then — your own dismissive
Please don’t keep asking that . . .

I stumble upon this unnoticed hint,
the grey shroud of not enough remembering,
descending upon the mountain of your mind.
Where is your elsewhere, those bell-like moments
Of innocent uncertain childhood,
the quiet street, the beech tree beside the house?

Your elsewhere is nowhere now.
Amid the paraphernalia of canes, braces,
wheelchair lap robes,
surely there must be a mica shard of memory:
grieving for Beloved Dog’s death,
splashing cologne on our solemn five-year-old?
It’s wolf juice you tease, or could it be
a fragile sloop tethered in the harbor,
a green sail in a green sea?