When Memory Has Its Way With Me

3 a.m. is a black widow

creeping down my spine then back up

burrowing in my memories

nestling, nesting then hatching hundreds of hour hands

crawling all over my skin

and it’s already too late, still my fingers run over this keyboard

racing for memories

pressing on their accelerator to get somewhere

that is long gone.

Sizing up death, life’s natural predator

one step ahead by being one step behind

losing sight of being blind

seeing the beginning thinking we see beyond the bend

confusing the end

with the horizon and then

sailboats sink and Columbus is turned away

back to the world from which he came

when my memory has its way with me

I am left to see


in front of me

is anything

of need

needing nothing more than a photo album

and my memory is freed.

8 thoughts on “When Memory Has Its Way With Me

  1. granbee

    3 a.m. is a time of memories and old photos and the spider of “only if” spinning its web inside our heads. You have captured this atmospher most masterfully!

  2. Louise Jaques

    Ah Peter this is so great, I took it as a metaphor for needing to spill out of our head the sudden rush of 3 AM inspiration for a story or poem. Using an insect for this captures the violence and rush of that moment perfectly.


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