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I Remember When
Author: Shiloh

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Funny sort of mood tonight. Tonight? It's 3:51am now.
This morning, I guess. Numb. I could just sit here and do nothing,
try not to think... that would be good.
Maybe. I don't know. I really don't know.
I get to this fork in the road every now and then,
and I sit here and I float, is how I would describe it - floating,
in some kind of thick molasses-like substance where I can't move too well,
sort of stuck there, and I can't get out or away... hell of a thing, really.
Not comfortable, but not painful, either. Just that it makes me sit here,
and then, if I'm not careful, I remember things.
That's when the feelings come.
Remembering, re-dreaming, finding different parts of my time,
looking at them, feeling them again, wondering about them,
wondering if I had done this instead of that,
what might have happened instead of what did happen...
all sort of kind of mixed up.

Staring at the backs of my hands on the keyboard.
Old hands now... but I can remember when they weren't old.
I can remember when they weren't resting on a computer keyboard.
I can remember when they rested on a typewriter keyboard in typing class.
I remember when they rested on the steering wheel of a '57 Buick Special
as I rolled through the West Louisiana--East Texas countryside...
I remember when they rested on the handles of a .50 caliber machine gun
as I stood guard in a bunker on the berm at Dong Tam...
I remember when they rested on the edge of my mother's open coffin,
as I sat with her at the funeral home...
I remember when they rested on the soft blanket
that was wrapped around each of my sons as I held them
when they were in their first days of life...
I remember when they rested on the staff of a flagpole
as I carried it in the streets in a parade...
I remember when they rested on the desktops
of all the jobs I had that I hated,
but needed in order to make it to tomorrow...
I remember when they rested, finally,
and no longer were able to work, and I worried about tomorrow...

It's been a while. Days, weeks, months, years...
but it all seems like yesterday, somehow,
and I don't understand how it all happened so fast,
and I can't follow it in my mind any more in any logical sequence,--
no order to it at all, just a jumbled mess of thoughts and memories
and fears and hurts and small pieces of good and bad and wonder...


There should be a way to put some things from your mind
up on a shelf, maybe to display, maybe just to store it
until you wanted to reach up and bring it down
and lay it out and look at it, hold it,
feel the memory, experience it again...
just certain ones --
because when you get to this point,
where you just sit here and go blank,
staring at nothing, vacantly,
it would be nice to have a way to hold those things,
and let your hands rest on them once more...
and let your mind rest on them once more...
and maybe understand them a little better.
I think that might be a good thing...

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Comments on this poem/writing:

Brah (71.217.52.81) -- Tuesday, February 19 2008, 06:13 am

Outstanding!

It was a 57 blue plymont "Plaza"/w fish tails fins in back & a 55 chev station wagon green & white for me. I enjoyed your poem alot. Thanks for sharing and all your remembrance. Looking at my old hands too.
shiloh (66.24.112.118) -- Tuesday, February 19 2008, 07:12 am

ahh.... the chevy - queen of automobiles...

I think that the two chevy cars that had the cleanest lines were the 55 and the 58. The 61 was a close second, but just barely. Had each of them myself, but still miss that old 57 buick - it was like driving a battleship down the road. passed everything on the road except a gas station! thans for your comment - peace... shiloh
 
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