Napo 17

Floppy Disk

How can I explain this to my children:
The enigma of a floppy disk?
How, today, no one can read them anymore
Like a dead language, all but lost to time.
How poems and term papers and photos,
The things we tried to save, decay
Underneath ancient sofas or in landfills.
How they reminded me that memory
Was finite. How I could only save
What mattered most. How I could hold
It in my hand, and feel it, precious.
How I could snap it like a kitten’s neck,
Erase memory like a line on the chalk board.

Today, memory hangs over us,
A cloud that gathers and gathers
And gathers all our lives.
We never have to touch it, no,
But we carry its weightless
On our backs, somehow a heavy load,
A hymn we keep humming and can’t forget.

My children, they’ll laugh when I explain
how sweet it sometimes was to lose.