Memory pulls at time and unravels
the careful tapestry of illusion
woven to cover the soul’s tender bones
the psyche’s sinew
and flesh, never perfect.
We deny that fancy wears emperor-clothes
pretend all is well, until some untimely tear
reveals the scars we would hide
more from ourselves than others.
Time’s harsh steel begins at the cutting edge
of events, scrapes until the hone is dulled
then spins tangled strands that catch
the recurring knife as it rounds upon itself.
Finally years take up the sand and emery
so that if a wound remains, it cannot kill.
Memory, mother lode of life mixed ore and slag
ordinary dross with shining nuggets, a few gems
and the occasional fossil perfect in outline
an intaglio of reality that tricks the mind
into forgetting the real is gone forever.