In the Memory Garden

by Mark Gordon

In the memory garden too many statues,

some cracked, some spotted

with pigeon droppings,

some too big to carry home

even if you wanted to steal them.

 

I remember a real garden, a bandstand

in the middle of it, where,

on occasion, a small orchestra played

to light up summer evenings.

We, lovers, stood around, leaning

 

on each other’s shoulders, held up

by the thumping of the bass. We

had no idea what roads

we would travel, what gardens we

would visit, what plot of land

 

we would be buried in. But summer

nights followed us, the memory

of a perfume that she and the trees

wore. In the memory garden

we learned to collect tiny details,

 

the cracked tooth on the peanut vendor,

the greenish hue on the statue

of Bobby Burns, the pumping legs

of our cousin who sped past everything

without a glance, bicycle clips on his pants.