Poem: Defensive Memory | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Poem: Defensive Memory


I ask now what you remember.
For me:
air raid sirens pierce arithmetic lessons as we
practice for nuclear war.
My classmates and I scramble
under wooden desks:
girls’ plaid skirts tenting pale knees scabbed at recess and
even the boys are quiet.
Spitballs at a ceasefire.

You say you don’t remember much.
A hint:
did you ask me what I learned in school that day and did
I already know not to
disturb you with my fears?
I almost forgot:
got a hundred per cent on a spelling test and
Mike Clark ate a red crayon.
And I can’t sleep at night.

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