Both Blessing and Curse
(An Acrostic Poem)
Pandora's box of history, with no lid to close it,
Every snapshot in it builds "The Self" as each one knows it.
Rituals, traditions, times stored up by Memory~
Strong sentinel of selfhood, guarding all that's known as "Me."~
Opinions, facts, ideas, formed in days both near and far,
Network of the yesterdays that made us who we are.
Bones in the closet rattle, they won't stay there in the tomb,
Ill winds blow scents of failures past, which spell tomorrow's doom.
Terror of all that might be now, because of what was then,
Tyrants named "Could Have," "Should Have" rub salt into wounds again.
Endless parade of mockers pointing out what's lost, not won,
Regrets which can't be silenced, mourning what can't be undone.
All things are new to infant eyes, all must be stored away,
Saved 'til enough accumulates to shed light on the way.
Tests coming up! Better cram in grammar, math, and spelling,
Until the mind is brimming and the memory is swelling.
Then from the storehouse, knowledge flows! New insights, theories bold,
Each spark of genius lit by new flints striking against old.
Forgotten anniversaries, birthday cards belated,
Appointments missed by someone, while others sat and waited.
Upset searchers hunt for things they laid down "who knows where?"
Lost drivers can't remember how to get from here to there.
Truth is twisted 'round in court when details blur and fade,
Yesterday misremembered leads to innocence betrayed.
Gilding ordinary things, making the everyday glow,
Evincing childish laughter from kids grown up long ago.
Nicely sanding edges smooth, mercifully padding landings,
Taming harsh realities and old misunderstandings.
Layers of nostalgia round off history's sharp corners,
Echoes of lost loved ones bring a smile to grieving mourners.
Hellish scenes of war invade what should be peaceful dreaming,
Agonies with no relief change sleeping into screaming.
Unrelenting torment when the past invades the present,
Nightmares rob the waking hours of all that's good and pleasant.
Time runs backwards, life is stolen by temporal thieving
Sentencing forever to a life of endless grieving.
Empty eyes in aged face, the Sentinel is sleeping,
Neglectful of the history entrusted to its keeping.
Instead of Self, a stranger stares back from the looking-glass
God leaves it now to loved ones to recall what came to pass.
Memory betrays, and yet still proves itself a friend,
As kept by others, it preserves dignity in the end.
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