PROMPT #302 – I REMEMBER…

A lifetime is filled with many memorable moments. So much history has passed through our lives like sand through our fingers, and it causes us to take pause. What is something you recall from your lives, as simple as that.

Your title should be “I REMEMBER _______.”  I remember when man landed on the moon. I remember when President Kennedy was elected. I remember the Beatles first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. I remember when John Lennon was killed. What do you remember? Remind us all through your poem of what it is you remember.

MARIE’S RECOLLECTION:

I Remember John-John’s Third Birthday

My five-year-old eyes
watched a three year old salute
his daddy’s coffin.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020

WALT RECALLS:

I REMEMBER WOODSTOCK IN MY 13TH SUMMER

I was all of thirteen//
still very green//
I mean, I was too young
to have actually gone there.
I was just growing my hair.
All I know is there was this farm.
Acres of open spaces
to sit//stare//prance and dance.
It was a chance to connect
with the land//the bands//
the lovely nymph passing acid,

a nice little lass at that!
Summer never felt hotter.
But I would’ve spotted her, a face
in the crowd//to remember//
to launch a thousand trips.
Piece//love//music
hair like Jesus//multitudes
of chicks and dudes,
beads and leather vests//chests bared
and fellas with no shirts on too,
true confessions in August//
free love and granola.
Mohair and moon pies//
more music and sex and drugs.
Old man Max threw a bitchin’ party!

But after all these years,
I’m glad I wasn’t invited.
It had ignited this new morality
one which festers til this day.
But I must say, the music can stay!

©Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

65 thoughts on “PROMPT #302 – I REMEMBER…

  1. I think Marie’s short sad poem led the way to mine.

    I Remember

    Bits of that day float through memory
    a story passed person to person
    on our school bus
    at the end of a day

    The President was dead

    A sorrow rested on us
    that this could happen

    People say he was a good man
    but not everyone liked him
    He gave fine speeches
    but some didn’t like his words

    We’d watch the rerun on the news
    because cameras would film the day
    as he rode through the streets in an open caddy
    his wife beside him
    and how she cradled his head in her hands
    afterwards

    and I often wondered at that family’s sorrow
    and how it shaped their lives
    at what could be taken away without notice

    © Carolyn Wilker

  2. I REMEMBER AN OLD FRIEND

    He didn’t ask much, my rusty old cat:
    just to lie by my side and to purr a song that

    would tingle my fingers and fly to my heart,
    and leave me so lonely when we were apart.

    He used to like playing with long lengths of string,
    and showed me his love with the presents he’d bring:

    an egg or a feather, sometimes a whole bird;
    or a mouse or a mole or a lump of old turd.

    Through year upon year we both shared the same space,
    but now he is gone, perhaps to a place

    where the fields are all full, and butterflies whir,
    and goddesses treasure the song of his purr.

  3. Walt, I didn’t pay attention to Woodstock or to the music of that time, but the sounds in your poem will do as a substitute.

    • Some of my favorite music came from that time, but the experience is more of a historical study for me. That’s seems to be when the wheels started to come off the rails. I wouldn’t have fit there anyway! But you took something away from this piece, so I am pleased that you did, Bill!

  4. I Remember Her Emerald Satin Gown

    Mom in an emerald satin
    gown, her hair freshly
    coiffed in an upswept
    flip. Another affair–
    Bar Mitzvah, wedding–
    only occasion to get Dad
    into a suit. At that time,
    everyone dressed to kill.
    Mom wasn’t much for jewelry,
    but liked when I helped her
    with make-up. Mom and Dad
    looked the part
    of a sophisticated couple.
    I was in charge of
    my younger sister. We watched
    them leave. Mom looked lovely
    in her emerald satin gown,
    that perfectly matched
    her eyes.

  5. I Remember Being More Flexible

    I used to be able to stand
    from an Indian-style sitting position
    without holding on to anything.
    Now I have to crawl over to a chair
    count to three and push myself up.

  6. I REMEMBER WHEN WE COULD DISAGREE AND STILL BE FRIENDS

    I came from a large family with few resources.
    We used to argue for entertainment.
    We didn’t score or declare a winner,
    But whoever made the best points was triumphant.

    My Dad and Mom always told us that
    outside of the family don’t discuss the terrible two:
    Religion and politics would always lead to problems.
    It turned out to be the best advice they gave me.

    I have had friends with which I could discuss anything
    and friends with which I couldn’t, easily determined.
    If they got angry when I didn’t agree, I couldn’t.
    If it led to reasonable discourse, I could.

    I still have a friend with which I can discuss anything.
    But only one. And no family qualifies, not even hubby.
    I spend a lot of time in my life just listening.
    At holidays, the terrible two are forbidden to keep the peace.

    I am very sad that I have lost my favorite
    form of entertainment, probably forever.
    Reason has been replaced by emotion
    and everyone is sure their answer is the only right one.

    I have actually heard people say they HATE
    those that don’t agree with their views.
    That has been true for religious folk sometimes,
    and the cause of many wars and tragedies.

    But if we all do not learn the value of reasonable discourse
    we will never be able to solve the world’s problems.
    And if we are not able to put reason ahead of emotion,
    I truly worry about the future of the planet.

  7. I Remember

    how the only phone rang
    from its mount on the hall wall
    outside the dorm proctor’s room

    sound rippling rolling rocking
    down the empty space past others
    sleeping six to a room beneath
    matching chenille spreads bunched
    beside tiny identical night stands

    wide awake I stared at the popcorn
    ceiling wondering what to do next

    how to be in a world without

    a nun flying to my bed
    her wimple skewed sideways
    around gold rim glasses
    her eyes going wide at finding me
    awake and studying the ceiling
    as she reached out her hand
    where it froze mid-air

    “That was your mother calling,”
    she said. “Your brother’s dead.”

    Just like that

    I studied the light fixture
    and said the only thing I could:
    “I already know.”

    Her face going still, she told me
    to get up so as not to wake the others
    and I dressed from habit in the shadow
    of the door-wide closet for the long ride
    to what would never be
    home again.

    • Piercing, this.

      Makes me think of an experience I wrote about years ago. The principal (also a nun) of the school I attended walked into our second-grade classroom. “Jeffrey, come with me. Your mother just died.” He and I sat side-by-side in the front two seats in a double row of desks. It was as though I could feel the jolt of a bolt of lightening. I can’t even imagine how it felt to Jeff. My heart still pounds to this day with the memory of it.

      As always, your writing is compelling.

    • These lines “and I dressed from habit in the shadow
      of the door-wide closet for the long ride
      to what would never be
      home again.” show the strong emotion. Well done!

  8. .
    .
    .
    Not So Long Ago

    I remember no so long ago
    When two people could actually talk
    And not dodge a punch or a rock

    I remember not so long ago
    When a church was holy and revered
    And Christians weren’t thought of as weird

    I remember not so long ago
    When the left and the right worked things out
    Now it’s the party that all things are about

    I remember not so long ago
    When the flag would shine proud in our hearts
    Now for some reason it’s tearing us apart

    I remember not so long ago
    When professional sports meant the game
    Now it nothing more than selfish blame

    I remember not so long ago
    When our differences made us each unique
    Now if we’re not the same, we’re a freak

    I remember not so long ago
    When America was the embodiment of freedom
    Now they are rooting for freedom’s end to come

    I remember not so long ago
    When we looked up to God as our Guide
    Now we run in our shame for a place to hide

    I remember not so long ago
    When we were free
    When God was King
    When we all got along
    And we stood for the flag
    When individuality was good
    And patriotism was the norm
    Respect reigned supreme
    And love was in the air

    What happened?
    And can we ever return to those days?
    I am hopeful, but not optimistic
    Without God, we are nothing but
    A nation lost in the desert of sinfulness

  9. I Remember Still

    I remember,
    still,
    the news that night
    in gray shades on that old black and white RCA,
    our newest appliance for us back then,
    our box with a view to the wide, wide world,
    that just that morning I’m sure broadcast
    Captain Kangaroo–for the little kids of course—
    a show I had outgrown by now,
    though secretly I was still quite fond
    of Bunny, Mr. Moose, and old Greenjeans.

    I’d already heard the horrible news,
    so devastating to a fourth grade mind,
    not because I understood grief or sorrow,
    but I had sensed it in Mrs. Dolan’s cry
    as she came back in from the hallway,
    where Mr. McCormick had gathered them,
    teachers, together in a somber still small circle
    to tell them the horrible news.

    Every girl in my class cried,
    when Mrs. Dolan came back in our room that day
    and told us all, as we sat straight and still,
    the horrible news. I bowed my head,
    and wiped my eyes, and blinked
    and sat right back upright,
    cause boys don’t cry.

    I sensed it in the solemnness at supper that night,
    how Daddy stood before the TV, wordless,
    still in his dirty work khakis stained with charcoal dust
    —still, ‘standing still,’ statue still—
    his usual casual news commentary blank,
    unable to voice a thought on this thing
    in the stilling shock of the sad event.

    Momma washed the dishes silently,
    so silently, carefully, as though
    a clank or clang
    might echo the horrible gunshots
    we had heard in our hearts,
    more in our assumptions
    than on TV.

    I wondered if school
    would continue the next day,
    if Mrs. Dolan would ever be able to say
    without a sob or a tear, again,
    “Mr. Kennedy, our President, has died…”

    And I wondered, too,
    if Mr. Greenjeans had heard the news,
    after all, Captain Kangaroo was on in the morning,
    and the news, well, it is on at night.
    in gray shades on that old black and white RCA.
    I remember,
    still,
    the news that night.

    © Damon Dean, 2020

Comments are closed.