Applewood

I don’t remember it
Ninety percent of it
Has fallen from me

How I was born
How I was nursed
How I started to walk and talk

I’m told my first word was “apple”
not “mama”
but I don’t recall it myself

That memory
might be on the ground or
might have found its way
into a waterway and floated
into the sea and now is part
of something bigger

Important clues are lost
So I make them up

I think of rose lions
darting through purple grasslands after me
Imagine darling swords
swallowed by lean women dressed
as medieval fish from the margins 
of old maps
who then hummed strangled songs
to me as they bounced me on 
their rough knees

and taught me how to grow up

I force myself to believe
these myths of who I am because
ninety percent of all I am
is as unremarkable as it is forgotten

Somewhere someone’s found what I lost
and holds it up to the light on a beach
far from here
closes their fist around it then
relaxes the grip
and tosses it back to the sand
to walk on without a second thought
about that crummy little trash-nugget

Meanwhile I choose to say 
I was a dragon
before I could walk

Smell the burning applewood
Taste it always on my tongue

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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