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Remembered Places (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: I’ve been nostalgic lately.]

I came across a yellowed photograph

  deep in the chest of my memories

  wedged between childhood fantasies

                    much like ships in bottles

   and long-forgotten amusements

              nostalgic as paper kites

The picture depicted the beach

    in a small town I had once visited

    many years ago with my family

        back when the skies were always clear

                           or so I thought

         while shadows never hung about in corners

                at least of which my young mind was aware

I hopped aboard a bus to that location

      as a special trip to retrace the steps

      taken by a child who never conceived

           her adult counterpart might venture there

              as if I were a balloon tugged along

               by the gentle pull of a small hand

The place I arrived to—

      had grown from a small town

      into an extensive city

           buildings crowded along streets that wound

           under overpasses and past highways

       Spotless newer businesses loomed above

                  worn shops with cracks in their stonework

                                 gained from the passage of time

                Then a sleek train that stretched like a serpent

                    whizzed through the old train station nearby

                         fast as the past to the future

                            without the slightest pause in the present

Only the beach seemed the same

     although the period for nature to change such a place

     would probably take many human lifetimes to accomplish

          in which my younger and older selves merged together

                    within a photograph

                    to remain fresh for decades to come

So I sat down on the sand on the shore

      where time never stands still but only creeps forward

       and watched the waves perform their lapping dance

                  with the same enthusiasm they had

                  back when I was just a child

                          in the place that I remembered the best


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