© Maria Traxler 2004

When it was time

to start anew

to begin again

to get rid of

all that I didn't need

though I didn't need it

I still wanted to keep

that which means so much to me

and I can't look back,

can't go back

to what I was before

can't be who I was

can't see the past again

never again can see

what means so much to me

and now it's gone,

back in a time,

a time that the others

have forgotten.

But I remember,

I cannot bear to forget

and I could never forget like them.

I try to remember,

I try to go back,

to see my past,

dragged away

They've all forgotten

and I remember

I am the only one

who remembers.

Nobody will listen

to the stories of their past

They only say

it must be that bad

if we left it behind

and in vain I try

but they won't remember

I plead that they remember,

remember what was left behind,

remember the people they left behind,

their thoughts and songs and dreams

and what they need to remember

is all that they forgot

the things like laughter and weeping

and joy and sorrow,

the things like today

and not yesterday or tomorrow

surprise and things unplanned and true achievement

but they don't listen.

Now all they care for are machines

and planning,

only the future, they say,

is important,

but I know they're wrong

and they've forgotten how much better life was

when

they remembered.

The only things

they care about are

who will live together better, and

who will be best at this job, and

let's plant this here and that there,

and they're forever planning-

have any of them ever been surprised?

I know I can remember

but can they?

I'll chase every memory

and thought and dream

and catch them all

and I'll make them remember, I'll surprise them.

I walk up to somebody on the street

and we pass by a flower

I tell them to look at the green flower

but of course it is red,

and I wait for them to say

"Flowers aren't green, they're

red and blue and white and purple-"

and they'll remember, says a hopeful bit of me

But all I hear is

"What is a flower? what is green?"

and I am shocked

have they forgotten color? gardens?

I stumble and they say

"Are you all right? Here's medicine

and your dosage..." they ramble, always science and planning

"I'm fine" I lie and they turn away

and keep walking, because nobody ever lies now

they've forgotten, they've left it behind

just as I am left behind

both here, where I can't believe people still walk

they've invented so much,

and I was left behind

in my mind,

where I remember.

I remember

they used to say

"If you can't beat 'em,

join 'em"

but I can't live by that

I'll make them remember

or I'll die trying

and those I convince

will keep trying to convince others

and even when I die

I'll remember

and be remembered.