Longlisted Poem 2015

Madeleine Issitt

The Henrietta Barnett School, London

What I’ve Lost

They say I have a condition
Which is the reason that I forget
Which house I live at on this road ¬
Is it on the right or on the left?

I forget what time of day it is,
What month and even what year,
I forget what I did an hour ago,
And I’ve forgotten why I’m here.

I have forgotten I have forgotten the shopping list
And that I mustn’t go out alone
I’ve forgotten what I have come to buy
And how to get back home.

I have forgotten where the plates are kept,
And where I keep the tea,
I’ve forgotten I’ve already made nine cups,
Which are sitting, waiting for me.

But I do remember some things,
Like swimming when I was young;
The smooth, cold pebbles underfoot
And the salt upon my tongue.

And I do remember my birthday
And the fuss I used to make
When my annoying little brother
Blew out the candles on my cake.

But I forget that I’m now eighty-two
And we’re no longer in the war.
I forget that most of what I say,
I’ve probably said before.

© Madeleine Issitt

Project Details

  • Date May 26, 2015
  • Tags 2015 Cells - Longlisted Poems