Meditation on Selective Memory Begins with Jimmy Carter
who can identify every bird
in the trees of Plains GA.
He and Rosalynn have a soft spot
for birdwatching, from the
sweet songs of indigo buntings to
ruby-throated hummingbirds &
purple martins. Sometimes
vermillion flycatchers appear in
fall & winter. I on the other
hand can identify every episode
of Murder, She Wrote:
like “Birds of a Feather” or “Murder
Takes the Bus” & “The Corpse
Flew First Class” then “Snow White,
Blood Red,” my soft spot
watching fictional murders solved
by a stately woman wearing
well-plumed suits. My knowledge
of Cabot Cove ME
rivals Jimmy Carter’s knowledge of birds--
& I wonder what it says about us,
the things we remember.
what it says about choosing to love
something so deeply
it nests forever in the mind? Or even
the things we forget, names
never to curl up inside our minds
warm & at the ready,
to be recalled with joy? What does it
mean to discard something
like the mayor of a MS town did:
ordering thirteen dogs
in the Montgomery County pound
useless, to be taken out
& shot? Dogs whose names
no one can recall.
CANDICE M. KELSEY [she/her] is a poet, educator, and activist living bicoastally in L.A. and Georgia. Her work appears in Passengers Journal, Variant Literature, and The Laurel Review among others. A finalist for a Best Microfiction 2023, she is the author of six books. Candice also serves as a poetry reader for The Los Angeles Review. Find her @candice-kelsey-7 @candicekelsey1 and www.candicemkelseypoet.com.
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