What Lay Forgotten – A Poem

She got onAmazoncollegemailroom

to the elevator.

When she saw

me, her smile

brightened and her

whole body shone.


She said, excitedly.

“How are you? I haven’t seen you in forever!”

I looked through

my memory, the

albums of memories

that are there.

I flipped through

the place I

thought she should

be, but the

page was blank,

with nothing on it

except the words


written in bold

red type. I

closed the album

within my head

and looked at

her, hoping that

my smile was

convincing enough. I

offered her pleasantries

and asked if

she had vacation

planned. I didn’t

ask anything personal

because I could

remember nothing about

her, not her

name, not where

I knew her

from, not even

how long I

knew her. Inside

my head, I

opened the memory

book and placed

a photo of

her, so that

it would be

there next time.

When the disease

hit, it left

me with a

battle to fight

within my own

body. It also

took something from

me. My memories.

I used to

be able to

quote from movies

on queue, remember

the plot and

title of every

book I’ve ever

read, every place

I’ve been to,

songs I used

to know by

heart. Now, all

those memory books

are filled with

blank pages, blank

faces, empty places.

After the heaviness

left me, and

I took up

the fight, my

focus was on

getting better. As

I started that

battle, I started

to realise how

quiet it was

inside my head.

I took a

look inside myself

at the boxes

filled with memory

books, pictures and

pieces of paper,

memories preserved for

later reference. I

was shocked to

find an almost

empty room instead

of a warehouse

filled to the

brim. Now there

was only one

room filled with

a handful of

boxes. As I

started to go

through the boxes,

I kept seeing


where a memory

once resided, its

page left with

a vague outline

of whatever had

been there before,

a shadow of

what it use

to be. At

first, this worried

me and I kept

thinking that my

boxes would never

be full again.

I lamented that

which I had

forgotten. Eventually, I

realized that, in

a way, it

was a blessing,

that everything that

had been forgotten

could be filled

with a new memory,

and that everything

I had forgotten

could be new

all over again.

I realized that

new albums could

be made and

that life didn’t

have to be

spent lamenting what

I had forgotten.

That the past

was the past

and all I

had to do

was focus on

the future. I

turned to the

woman in the

elevator and asked

“I’m sorry, but could you tell me your name again?”

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