The House of Memory

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg

The house of memory
is largely a single room
spacious enough for a life
yet too small for a library
for the reams of pictures
but not for all the words

The faces I can recall
those I have embraced
and others whose arms
folded as I approached
for causes I’ve known
or for others I’ve not

There are young faces
from when I was a child
and there are hard faces
from when I was proud
cast in my proud ways
these are faces of fear

There are old faces too
wisdom carved in lines
etched disappointments
silent accomplishments
in whose eyes I still see
the reflections of grace

“I see how the past holds us captive,
its beautiful ruin etched on the mind’s eye”
~ Natasha Trethewey


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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4 Responses to The House of Memory

  1. she’s right – it is a beautiful ruin – loved it


  2. This is beautiful … it has a very nostalgic tone … poignantly lovely :)


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