Lines from Robertson Jeffer’s poem “Hungerfield” transfixed past to present.
Jeffer’s wife Una had died. He writes,
“It is possible that all these conditions of us/Are fixed points on the returning orbit of time and exist eternally…/It is no good. Una has died, and I /Am left waiting for death, like a leafless tree/Waiting for the roots to rot and the trunk to fall.”
In Inventing the Language to Tell It, George Hart follows with, “After directly addressing Una, the poet goes on to say that it is not loneliness or old age that bothers him but rather ‘my torment is memory.'”
A red photo album has lain unopened on a table in our den for months. Last night Susan opened and thumbed through it. She asked if I wanted to look. I didn’t think so, knowing dead family and friends would be there.
After a while I reconsidered, and turning the pages, felt transfixed by memories of moments and people. Some people we know long dead, but others presumably alive, unseen by us for years. I laughed and smiled at what I saw. Memories transfixed.