Backward, Turn Backward [From BA 43-500]
Backward, Turn Backward
by Stanley Noah
Quiet in this square, stained wallpaper room,
haunting low-toned mirror and slow
moving music dancing out the short ban
radio. My mind seems easily to walk
backwards the steps of years.
Then profoundly reality is repeating my
personal history with so many persons.
I lived through their faces, voices,
events like a movie. I do not need to meet
them as they are today as some memories
are sacred like fresh linen folded and
put away like rivers to the sea like beach
bone-dried sea shells waiting for
generations to be collected. Remembered
for what they were, and went like
stamps on letters, traveled. Just to be
put away in glass jars like red sweet jam
held to sunlight. You wonder beyond yourself
and with those who knew you as they are
constantly on edges, disappearing, again
and again, taking a little of you with them
as if until now you had never been here,
hardly lived, even known by others today.
Then fate like gravity soon has its way
of placing you alone in this room somewhere
in this hour. And the mirror you look into
is like an abstract image you cannot fix.
Becoming more invisible each time you
take a peek. You hate to cut the lights off.
Fearing next morning the mirror can no
longer hold you. It’s the quietness, isn’t it,
that makes you think of these types of thoughts.