Whoever said hindsight is 20/20 never compared their memories to another’s. When I look back, as through a glass darkly, I see some unknowable mixture of memory and fantasy. If my alchemy is generous, I may find gold within the dregs of memory’s cup. But too often it seems I suffer a reverse alchemy.
I pan the whitewater river
That rushes over the valleys and hills of my past
To the narrow canyon of my present
Where I stand in hip boots and helmet
The better to protect me from drowning in tears.
I pan for those memory nuggets
That I can refine with true alchemy
Into rare golden understanding.
I hold them out, so small in my wrinkled palm
Those bright shiny memories
To share the treasure with my family
Only to be told that I offer them but