Memory sifted through their hands

Like water

Or like sand—

The kind of sand that

Lays flat on the desert ground

And all around the blistered feet

Of those who stand and watch the sun

With faces red

And cracking under the weight

And the heat

Filtered through dust—

Or like water.



Like water

In trickles

Between fingers pruning with excess

Trying to keep the water there

Sickeningly aware

Of the weakness in the holes

Between their fingers and their hands—

Their memories fell right through

Splashed around their ankles

In a puddle

Reflecting upward

Like the pool

In which they used to play.


Recollections are filled with darkened hues—

Purples and blues—

Certain as Midnight,

Ephemeral as morning dew.


The light traveling from those days

Cast shadows

Down and away from the statues

Erected in their minds

Telling the story

And the time

With no respect for the worries

And a reverence for the

Glow of remembrance

In which their hearts were founded—

Nearly grounded

In the way they had to remember

So as not to betray

The way they said it was.



Not that they lied,

They just could not see

That the laughter of then

Would be the tears of today

In a way that called forth

Reminiscence as a king

And Today as a paltry servant

Of then and

Of yesterday.



They heard the voices

Of those they knew

From long ago days

When their own laughter was simple

Easy like a single note played on a violin

Or like marbles rolling all the way down—

The kind of marbles children collect

And play on the ground

Smooth to the touch

Brilliant to the eye

When held to the sky

Examined close

A kaleidoscope of colors and

The wonder of beauty—

Or like a single violin note.


Recollections drip down the canvas of the soul—

Subtle and uncontrolled—

Fixed as form,

Delusory as a blindfold.


Their laughter hummed

On the chord of B flat

Lightly touching

The humor and the stories of

Where they had traveled

How they unraveled,

The twists and the gaps

Leaning into then

Defying the traps

Set by life

Avoiding the strife

Or slaying it—

At the very least—

With a respect for the prelude

And a skillfully resolving

Harmonic A

Played high

Above the circumstances—

Between struggle and sky.



Their memories were old

But inside these structures

They put on their youth,

Remembered why

They would never say goodbye

To the old days

The ones who had gone before,

Set the path

For their present days and chosen ways—

And remembered

The magic they saw

When they lay on the floor

Watching smoke rise from party torches

Fire dancing in the eyes of those

Who drank and who sang

Whose yesterdays rang

With an echo that reached

Their todays

And the core of what they are.



Memory sifted through their hands

Wafted through their ears

And painted itself upon their faces

Holding traces

Of those who came

And are gone.


Recollections whisper the passing time—

Hasty and sublime—

Simple as a flower petal

Intricate as a rhyme.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: German painter Miriam Vlaming‘s piece, MENAGERIE.  180 x 230 cm.Egg tempera on canvas.  Please feel free to explore Miriam’s art on her website or on her Facebook page: Miriam’s Website , Miriam’s Facebook Page


Inspiring music for the piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxw_7yxtjyE