I Haven’t Forgotten, prose poem by @evrymanJac











Copyright 2017 by Jack A. Urquhart

In case you’re wondering,
I haven’t forgotten,
‘though it is many years.
I haven’t forgotten
the way you came howling
into the world,
red faced and wrinkled,
your tiny hands
already curled into fists.

I haven’t forgotten
your delight in the bath,
your toddler’s glee
in the splashing mess you made,
or how your hair,
lathered to a whirling point,
was more magical to me
than any unicorn’s horn
could ever be.

I haven’t forgotten
your MTV break-dance moves
proudly showcased
on the living room floor,
or the pleasure you took
in a new fallen snow,
in a well-executed
skateboard run,
in a steaming bowl
of noodled pho.

And I haven’t forgotten
how your light began to fade
in the years that followed;
how the joy in your eyes
dimmed to frightened shadows
as an illness
none of us could fathom
nor cure
took hold.

I haven’t forgotten the day
your mother called to say
how they’d found you
fallen in that Seattle park,
your pulse fading fast,
nor the fact that I wasn’t there
to catch you,
to pull you back from the brink.
To bring you safely home.

I haven’t forgotten
that final August night
as you lay unconscious;
our vigil at your bedside,
the tunes I sang in your ear—
Christmas carols, cheery ditties—
anything that might ease
your labored struggles,
erase the sound of those final
fluttering breaths
as you took your leave,
free at last
from all your sufferings,
from all your sorrows.

I haven’t forgotten any of it.
Not for a moment.
Not for the rest of my days.
I still remember it all:
all the beauty,
all the blessings,
of you.

About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in Washington State.
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5 Responses to I Haven’t Forgotten, prose poem by @evrymanJac

  1. wieckling says:

    Beautiful x I have a fear that I will forget my son’s voice and laugh. I have to get my photo and video fix to help me past that phase. I’m coming up to the second year angelversary in Oct this year after losing my 20 year old son Jacob to Ewing’s Sarcoma a rare form of youth & young adolescent cancer ♡

    • jaurquhart says:

      I am very sorry for your loss. If it is any comfort to you, please know that I share the same fears you mention (that is why I write down my recollections). It is four years since my son died at age 34 (of mental illness occasioned opioid abuse). We go on, of course, even in our bereavement, to experience the various pleasures and pains that being alive brings. But I wonder sometimes if one ever fully recovers from the loss of a child. Thank you for taking the time to visit my obscure web site and for commenting here.

      • Ani says:

        @jaurquhart: Hi, that was a powerful poem. Sorry to hear the loss of your son. I just wanted to tell you I lived in the same homeless shelter your son was in back in 2010. We use to eat breakfast early in the cold Seattle morning “under the bridge”. I remember he had a thick voice which was unique. Again sorry for his passing.

  2. wieckling says:

    Jacob is helping us from afar to smile again ~ see miracles in life everyday as we continue to learn how to live our lives without him in it. I’m using his camera now so I’m seeing the world through his eyes & its keeping us connected in the hope that he can see what I capture. I too write about love, memories and grief to help keep his spirit and memory alive

  3. Jessica Triepel says:

    Wow, Andy, that’s beautiful, and heartbreaking. I remember when we all played baseball together. It was so much fun when he was there, since he was the only one of us who could really play.

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