Afterwards

Dry leaves, blown on a wind
We can’t escape, of steady bearing,
Quickening speed; the growth of
Last year’s branches on the tree,

Once random, but now seeming
Straight, and pointing to the light;
Our memories shaped by that direction,
Our direction steered by memories.

We can’t rebuild our past
Though we reclaim it,
Descant refract and reinvent it,
Selectively forgetting and eliding

In our subtle shifting chemistry;
So in the shattered peace of our world,
Through misty dislocated harmony,
Can those pasts lie far behind?

What were those pasts, and when?
Laments for last year, as gaps
Which ‘could’ and might have been,
Had we not been ourselves.

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