by Colin Morton

Transient. This is no soap opera.
One day, just for a day:
I don’t remember where I live.

One day a doting mother
all dressed up for her son’s wedding
awakes in the front pew, corsage at her throat,
saying Where am I? Why am I crying?
Who is that getting married?

One day a surgeon
in the midst of a procedure he’s performed many times
loses the moment and snaps at the nurse
Where am I? What am I doing? then proceeds.
Handed sutures, he sews the body up
then turns to the nurse and says
Where am I? Who took that gall bladder out?

For a day I sit at your bedside in Emerg.
When we’re free to leave
it’s as if I’ve picked you up at the station
after a long, strange trip.
I remember, you say, someone was holding my hand.


Note: the italicized lines in the middle two stanzas are reported in an essay by Oliver Sacks in his book Musicophilia.

— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 1