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Posts Tagged ‘How our memory plays tricks on us’

Poempig finds this poem fascinating.Rodney Williams_photo_resized-3 It appears, at first, to be a simple poem.

It captures one moment in the poet’s life. This poem describes beautifully a flaw of our human condition. We are social animals yet too often our memory is rich on one level and faulty on another leaving us socially inept. We are immobilized by dithering or stuck in a state of indecision. 

On another level the poem tells, in quick snap shots, the very complicated story of another life. 

was that you, by god, after thirty years

outside a roadhouse where I bought

flowers for mother’s day?

she’s passed on since, but your old girl

she was gold, paying me to mow her lawn

a chore that you refused


hell, that must have been you, the kid who held

the biggest parties of boyhood

with ice-cream soft-drink spiders fizzing

and a slot-car set that filled a room –

once you rolled our billy-cart down our hill

right beneath a reversing truck

paradise anthology Correction

by jesus, that was you for sure

my drinking buddy of underage teens

in our fathers’ footsteps

staggering arm in arm down the milky way-

when first busted for dope, you employed no counsel

expecting a bond, amazed by conviction


That was you, by christ, still with pixie-point ears

sizing me up with a squint

you’d learnt doing time inside-

your nephew told me years and beers ago

how he’d gone to a brothel on a footy trip

only to find your wife, his aunt


for god’s sake, that was you, off to your car

and I hate myself now for not calling your name

Rodney Williams

Rodney Williams is a widely published Victorian poet and literature teacher. This poem appeared in The Paradise Anthology 02 available at Readings Bookshop. #mce_temp_url#

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