Friday, September 15, 2023

Why We Tell Stories


We tell stories to re-visit the past,
that halcyon time in Grandma's cottage,
my safe place in the world,
yard full of hollyhocks, weeping willow,
and a routine I could depend on
in a world I did not understand.
In my heart, now, I drift in dream
under the Tree of Remembrance,
in a time long gone,
but always golden,
never forgotten.

Summing up, we recollect old loves, old mistakes;
(cringing, we brush them off, brush them off,
send them to live under the Tree of Forgetfulness.)
Only the one dark-eyed beauty remains,
his blackbird heart, his faltering flight,
like a bird with one wing, longing for,
yet fearing, too, the sky.

I once placed my requests
in the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders.
They came back very different from
what I longed for, and yet, they turned out
to be exactly what I had not known I needed,
pointing me down a path I didn't think
I had the courage to follow, towards more
than I had ever dared to dream.

We tell stories, we write poems:

     to remember
           to remember
                 to remember

Day Four of Wild Writing. Inspired by the poem "Why We Tell Stories" by Lisel Mueller, and by the fact that there is actually a restaurant in Japan called The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders, where all the staff has dementia, and the orders get garbled, but always turn out to be wonderful. I love that!


  1. Sherry we write stories one chapter at a time. I nodded at the tree of forgetfulness. Yes, I think we have all buried stuff at her feet. The restaurant of mistaken orders, just amazing. How many times have my requests been mixed up? Giving me a plate of scrambled eggs. But, sometimes those orders turn into a culinary surprise.

    Yes, we write to remember to leave breadcrumbs of our stories in life.


  2. There are so many reasons why we tell stories, and you have captured many of them. I do think such an important reason for writing is to remember. Not so that others may read, but for the poet/ essayist to remember what is important. I love the idea of the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders. Serioudly, I doubt if I would have to courage to go to that restaurant.


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