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The Persistence of Memory



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I want to get another woman to help
me clean, but I’ll have to find one
who can do it and take my bossing.

When I try to write on my lap,
my hand turns to chicken scratch.

Planting too early is all for naught.
My husband Will should learn that.

If you want a cat to catch vermin
in the barn, it has to stay in the barn.
Our cat Smokey would just disappear
but Will closes the hole he goes out.

When you’re real sick like mother,
and you pass on, you’re still
better off in the long run.

Getting old is a slowing up,
while dying is a letting go. You can’t
do the first without the second.

I don’t like tv. I can’t follow
the stories while I sew. I get lost
in one or the other, and I’d rather
get lost in making something.

If you speak your mind you’ll never
have to let anything fester
and get to you. But you’ll find,
after a while, there’s no one
left who’ll listen to you.

—Naton Leslie

First published in Kerf (College of the Redwoods), Crescent City, CA, 2004. Reprinted in Emma Saves Her Life, Turning Point Editions, Word Tech Communications, Cincinnati, OH, 2007.

Naton Leslie. - JENNIFER MAY
  • Jennifer May
  • Naton Leslie.
Naton Leslie. - JENNIFER MAY
  • Jennifer May
  • Naton Leslie.


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