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Hansel and Gretel


I cannot remember when I was there, or for how long.

How is it that I, a normal person, can remember so little

Of last year's vacation or my sister's visit?

(I think it was Easter, though I could be wrong).

It's not someone else's life I'm so forgetful of.

Like Hansel and Gretel crumbling the loaf,

I marked a trail the birds mark only with song.


They swallowed song lyrics and baseball averages—

And I'd have to say I begrudge them even those—

And the way the little kid looked when he bent down close

To me and loosed that undamaged smile of his.

Important images.  Still, there's good in forgetting,

Elegizing old photographs is hardly fitting,

Better to leave them alone, whatever this poem says.


Maybe there's something between remembering and forgetting,

And that is what you find when you can't go home,

Can't quite remember your old friend's name,

But you follow the winding sigh his heart let in,

The slight banging of those dangerous, gingerbread shutters,

Where the glow within and the form of the appetite matters,

The rumor of those singing trees and the trail you are threading.


Anthony Lombardy



© 1993; originally printed in The Cumberland Poetry Review.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

by Grapholina

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