Lost and Found

Today, I listened to this poem by David Hollies, who died in September after nearly a decade of living with progressive dementia of unknown etiology.  On his website, he wrote about finding this poem: “I must have written this sometime last year.  I found it on my desk.”

Lost and Found, by David Hollies (~2004)

The first few times
Being lost was frightening
Stark, pregnant
With the drama of change
Then, I didn’t know
That everywhere is nowhere
Like the feeling when a ocean wave
Boils you in the sand
But as time goes by
Each occurrence of lostness is quieter
Falling from notice
Like the sound of trains
When you live near the tracks
Until one day
When a friend asks
“How often do you get lost?”
And I strain to recall a single instance
It was then that I realized
Being lost only has meaning
When contrasted with
Knowing where you are
A presumption that slipped out of my life
As quietly as smoke up a chimney
For now I live in a less anchored place
Where being lost is irrelevant
For now, only when there is a need
Do I discover where I am
No alarm, no fear
Just an unconscious check-in
Like glancing in the rear-view mirror.

 

 

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