Day 511, November 18, 2021

Forgetfulness

The ability to continue, 
the inability to continue. 

A quiet house 
where even the dog 
stays curled into a cashew on the couch. 

It is unseasonably warm, 
which will make each subsequent day 
all the more painful, 
so easy is it to forget suffering 
and cold thighs. 

The geese are raucous. 

I imagine the apologies I will make 
for not being present, 
for still catching up, 
for not catching up. 

A day like today people are reborn 
or at least eat lunch outside 
and think about the long legs of summer. 
A day like today makes one close one’s eyes while walking 
and pretend paths are revealed with each step. 

And still there are the pangs, 
the labored breathing of the pandemic, 
the effort of tying to emote enthusiasm or care through a face mask. 

If I carried beads, I would run them through my fingers. 
If I listened to Mozart I might listen to Piano Concerto No. 21. 
If I recited poetry from memory I might recite Neruda’s “Keeping Still.” 
If I wore crop top shirts, I might wear a crop top shirt. 

A day like today, 
I still don my knit cap and gloves 
and zip up my hood before stepping outside, 
because it is easy to forget what it feels like 
to be warm and loved.

Shan Goshorn

Prayers of Protection 
2016



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