Thanks for the Memories

Thanks for the Memories
Mark Jackley

To everyone today, thanks for the memories.

Thank you, oh town fathers, thank you Chamber of Commerce,
for the freshly minted gimmick
of the Rebel re-enactor

nursing a Big Gulp, who refreshed our understanding
of what it was like to sit around
on itchy cheeks and wait

for the Yanks to come. Thank you, Garden Club
biddy who clutched a wrinkled script
and told us everything

we never wanted to know about
the hideous furniture
in the antebellum home of General A.P. Hill.

Muchas gracias, April grass,
for remembering to be green,
a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, He-has-risen green,

green of Augusta fairways,
green of center field.
High-five dogwood trees, for remembering to blossom

into softness,
thanks for sending pink parachutes
to subjugate the lawn, big thank you, common sense

for keeping me from Mary’s grave, I would have only stared
like a netted cod,
and from her small white house

with its shiny new
aluminum siding like
fresh bandages, many thanks and a huge “I’m sorry” to

the artist from Peru,
all of twenty-one,
you have miles to go, señor, and so bemoaned the closing

of your tiny gallery
with calm. You said your chickens
were killed by two wild dogs, a tragedy you painted

in black-and-white acrylics,
the colors of the mutts,
who were “simply hungry.” The whole town was, I thought,

hungry for the past,
the present and the future
to reveal themselves before we go to bed

and close our eyes and in the little
winter of our slumbers, slowly, thankfully,
remember to forget.

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