Just Beyond

by Joanne Jagoda

I try to recall

cousin Celia's second husband

you know...what's-his-name

or that French actor from the TV movie

but names elude me

hover just beyond reach

wily fugitives

from my once impeccable memory

they hang in that murky space

I can no longer reach with alacrity

sit defiantly on the tip of my tongue

so bratty-- they sneak home at 3 in the morning

when they wake me up

and give me the finger

I used to spout the prologue of Romeo and Juliet

answer the questions on Jeopardy before the buzzer

this aging thing-- it's a bitch

hey, this is me who danced to the Doors

I thought I would surely dodge that bullet

I don't get why bad memories linger

like the burnt smell after a fire

stuff you wish you could forget

why can't those thoughts

retire for good to that place of hazy recall

ah... it's the faded snapshots I treasure

sweet images of good times

ebbing and flowing like gentle currents

gathering on the banks of my mind--

I will fight against this aging thing

but I fear the battle is just getting started.