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from Oxford University Press

how the light

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by Peter Schneider

Somewhere recently
I lost my short term memory.
It was there and then it moved
like the flash of a red fox
along a line fence.

My short term memory
has no address but here
no time but now.
It is a straight-man, waiting to speak
to fill in empty space
with name, date, trivia, punch line.
And then it fails to show.

It is lost, hiding somewhere out back,
a dried ragweed stalk on the Kansas prairie
holding the shadow of its life
against a January wind.

How am I to go on?
I wake up a hundred times a day.
Who am I waiting for,
what am I looking for
why do I have this empty cup
on the porch or in the yard?

I greet my neighbor, who smiles.
I turn a slow, lazy Susan
in my mind, looking for
some clue, anything to break the spell
of being lost in plain sight.

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