Saturday 26 June 2021

'Wet Alphabet Letters' by Kathy Seifert

 One day I put the milk in the oven instead of the fridge.

“Now why did you go and do that?” my husband asked, his face an electric fan. “You’re darn near seventy and should know better.”

I should, I know. I wish I did know.

Things are slipping. I am slipping, my memory a gaping hole. Wet alphabet letters shape shift to meanings I do not intend. Papery images swirl like used envelopes in the wind, containing the forgotten thoughts I can no longer grasp. Why can’t I hold on to the words anymore?

“Maybe you should get tested,” my daughter says. Cognitive function. Mapping the geometry of memory whose direct lines, sharp angles, and connecting points are diminishing each day.

“No,” I said. “I don’t need a doctor flossing my brain, searching its cotton candy insides, for proof of anything. I’m just tired, I say. A good night’s sleep is all I need.”

This morning I when I woke, I tried to remember what I did yesterday and all I saw was grey, elephant ears, whipping back and forth, trying to stir up a picture of me. Where was I? What did I do? Who did I speak with?

“No pictures,” I finally said to it. “I need a smell. A smell like my mother’s hair, a smell like wild roses, a smell like home.”

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