She’s Busy Now (Written July 13, 2018)

She’s Busy Now

She’s busy now trying to remember
the names
that go with the photographs
she’d like to copy and send.

She remembers the faces, and what
she wants to say, but not
the names. She keeps drawing a blank.
Try as hard as she might,
she can not remember the names.

This photo, yes, this one, she used to know
very well.
The name starts with an “F.” Maybe
Frances, or Francine, but no, neither
sounds right. She blames it on herself.

On her faulty memory. Everyone she
once knew
she’s busy now forgetting. At times
she’s able to catch a glimpse, a hint,
a fragment that flees from her

The moment she turns to look at it.
So many of her friends
are dying, one after the other, from one
illness or another — cancer, heart disease,
diabetes, kidney failure, depression,

You name it. Sometimes she shuffles
the photos
and the face that comes out on top
she’s not looked at or thought about
in years. But the name remains hidden

In some dark corner of her brain,
indestructible, but beyond her reach,
like the ripest apple on the tree.

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