A Holiday for Memory

Iris G. Garcia

What is this dizzy feeling?
I am tired.
My body is young,
but my soul finds itself surrounded
by newer souls,
realizing its age.
I am so old.
I am beginning to lose my memory.

I can't remember the smell of my dog,
a smell like a newborn baby,
or my father's aftershave,
like a forest of pines;
I cannot remember my dead.

I can't remember the day
that my mother drove us to a new home,
seven hours of heat and restlessness
in the blue leather interior of her white car;
I cannot remember running away.

I cannot remember the day I chased my sister,
when, running, she scraped her knee
so that we could see the bone underneath;
I don't remember how we couldn't let her sleep.

I can't remember selling tamales from door to door,
my two sisters running to the doorbells
I lagging behind with the cumbersome bowl
in my tiny arms;
I cannot remember that poverty.

I can't remember my first kiss,
in a hallway of my seventh-grade world,
hiding behind an endless row of blue lockers;
I cannot remember the taste of cinnamon.

I cannot remember my grandmother's rosary,
the tedious nights of sitting and responding;
Dios te salve Maria- llena eres de gracia;
I cannot remember that faith.

I can't remember my 15th birthday,
the giddy excitement of my Quinceañera,
the white chiffon and blue silk flowers;
I cannot remember my first dance.

I can't remember "urban four-wheeling"
with my high school friends,
listening to loud music while
we sped down the alleyways of "Burque";
I cannot remember my childish carelessness.

I can't remember my high school graduation,
the tears streaming down my mother's face,
my abuelita swelling with pride,
my sisters within the long speeches were
over already;
I cannot remember my joy.

I can't remember eternal conversations
in the New Mexican sunset,
with foot always present to witness
the genius of our insane theories;
I cannot remember your wisdom.

I can't remember the turmoil of change,
of leaving everything behind,
of forcing my old soul to catch up with
my young body,
I cannot remember what home is.

I cannot remember my life,
because I am too young,
and too old,
because I lack the time.
What is this dizzy feeling?
I am tired,
I need a holiday for Memory.

Back to Iris G. Garcia's Portfolio




This web site created and maintained by the Coe Writing Center. Copyright 2001.
E-mail Dr. Bob Marrs with any questions, comments or suggestions.