DeWitt Henry’s books include The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts (winner of the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel); a trilogy in memoir concluding with Endings and Beginnings: Family Essays (MadHat Press, 2021); and a collection of notes and essays Sweet Majoram (MadHat Press, 2018). Poems have appeared in Ibbetson Street, On the Seawall, Plume, and others. He was the founding editor of Ploughshares and is Professor Emeritus at Emerson College. Details at www.dewitthenry.com. DeWitt recommends contributing to Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.
Memories fade, even of those dearest to us. That’s how it should be, probably. Mom passed down her boxes of memorabilia, but I wonder if they are worth saving for future generations. Do we need more than a handful of posed snapshots, outlines, caricatures, and legends?
Having lived for others, my mother said,
she’d planned her life in thirds: first for family,
second for world, third for self. But third
had been drained by caring for her mother
as well as for my father in retirement.
She’d run out of time. Design flaws.