Poem: A Flash of History

at Consider Barnwell

A Flash of History

The old car peeks out of the barn,
All fenders and steel, curves and old glass.
Suddenly memories flood you,
memories so old you cannot possibly have them,

images of men in uniform and women in pencil skirts,
of speakeasy bars and a slew of film noir slang,
a history fed by black and white movies,
Phillip Chandler and Father Brown paperbacks,

A reminder how a single image, a single moment
can explode into a whole world of memories,
beautiful and horrible, of love stolen, hearts broken,
and courage rediscovered.

About this poem. 

Sitting at the diner this morning, the subject of ex spouses came up. My own ex, who I have not seen or spoken to in years and years, showed up unexpected and unwanted at my daughter’s workplace last week. (They have not spoken in years, either.). I never saw her, but it brought out a slew of memories, good times and bad. A whole old world,
a strange version of ancient history that came in a flash, and disappeared just as quickly.

Funny how fleeting history is. Perhaps I live too much in the now.  Perhaps I let go too completely.

Or maybe not. Life is good. Too good to waste on history. From the conversation this morning, I am not sure my friends at the diner agree, but that’s how I live. It’s wasted energy. I prefer spending my energy on the wonderful here and now.

The picture was taken at a farm down the road in West Pawlet, VT.



  1. That is Saturn, when we meet someone from the past life is telling us how we were and how we are in life, what our path turn us into what we are, it is not comnfortable meet some people from the past, but it is a lesson.

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