Excerpts from the poetry collection Song: Lyrics for Duckling by Rachel A Elmer

Memory Loss

I left the lights on in the car
’cause yours turn off on their own.
Found my battery dead in the cold
and I walked five miles home.

You once woke me and told me
“the window’s been open all night,”
betrayed, like I let the light in
uninvited, like an unknown stray.

Now I’m awake and I’m crawling
out the window like a teen
face down in the gravel, searching
to be lost, for silence in my ears.

There’s a spider inside my mind,
a rustle behind my eardrum,
cobwebs where I forgot to dust
and its musty and cluttered
back in the dark. I swore I saw it
in the corner of my eye.

I swore I saw it, back in the dark
it’s not a flaw to forget.


All my blues glow yellow sun
low on the horizon, cold.
Born in retrograde
mercury dropping below.
Zero light, inside or out.
Huddle in the snowfall
hibernate in my mind
curl up on your tummy like a cub asking:

where will you be in five years?
Tell me all your existential fears
I bet they’re holding hands with mine,
tell me – where will you be in five years?

Bright night, moonlit snow
sparks fly from the fire we light,
melt deep to the heart of dirt
remind me of the earth beneath us.
Tell me, where do your memories go
when you’re not trying to dig ‘em up, tell me:

where will you be in five years?

Copyright © 2020 by Rachel A Elmer

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