Issue Forty-Three - Winter 2024

The Edge of Remembering

by Arvilla Fee

Someone once asked me what it was like
to lose my mind; I kid you not, those were
her exact words. She wasn’t unkind, just
curious. So, I wrote it down in case she,
or anyone else, ever asked me again,
as I’m sure I won’t remember my answer.

Losing your mind is like walking
on the edge of a cliff; the gravel is loose,
you are not wearing proper shoes.
Your foot slips over the side;
you start to fall but catch yourself.

It’s nothing, really. Forgetting a wallet.
Losing your car in the grocery parking lot.

You keep walking; the path gets more
narrow, until there really is no path;
your heart pounds as each step teeters
on the edge. You slip again; this time
you go over, rocks scraping your body.

Someone is standing in front of you,
but you can’t remember his name.
You left a pan on the stove. It’s black.

You manage to catch hold of a branch,
and you cling to it with your bare hands.
Your arms begin to shake with the effort,
but you don’t want to let go. Then you
are free falling; there’s no bottom.

Strangers around you talk of good days
and bad days. Someone sets boiled eggs
in front of you. You don’t know if you like
eggs. You pick at them and remember
a dog you had when you were seven; his
name was Frisco.

Copyright Fee 2024