The years had stacked.
This route between two points left him perplexed:
which path was true? Thus at a loss, appalled
(he'd always liked things neat, exact:
loose pennies rolled
in tidy wrappers, weed-free gardens walled,
each day appraised, accounted for, controlled),
last night he thought
he'd catalogue his cars and toys. They all
appeared: the old Suburban and of course
the brand-new Buick Skylark bought
his Comet sled, his wooden hobby horse,
but he could not recall
the Saturn Astra parked out in the drive.
the names of every person he had met
at every stage along his fourscore life—
the one's he'd loved or chanced to hate—
and he would limn
Brick Bradford in detail, but not his wife,
though he could not forget
the music box she'd purchased on a whim.
has slipped through window blinds to find him still
attempting to remember parables,
a nephew's face, the word chiffon,
the Seven Seas;
to place at last the ordered variables,
those nested n's that fill
the space between his dark parentheses.
From Glad and Sorry Seasons (Biblioasis, 2014) by Catherine Chandler