They know so soon afterwards vanishingly little about you.
My parents, who never forgot my birthday, are less
than even names to those who now live in the valley
we thought was ours from God forever more.
My husband, a doctor, and so, well acquainted with death,
insisted we write all the big dates in the Bible.
We did, recording our parents’ particulars
and those of our children, but then The Book was lost.
All of my hopes, the colors of my favorite gowns,
and my fears for Father’s fury — and how I wrote —
all these are as lost as my date of death, and my tombstone.