Music With Memory

When you gonna make up your mind,
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind,
Cause things are gonna change, so fast…

                                                                   __from Winter by Tori Amos*

And change they did, so very fast
that what is past seems like a moment,
no more than yesterday, somehow
played out over more than a decade.

Hear the song and all time is gone
and yet, the echo remains of the pain
and all the deep sadness. Grief, like
steepest incline, nothing to hang onto,
to slow descent, or inevitable crash
at bottom, bone crunch of final landing.

Listen, and words absurdly bring your
face from years ago, shy smile with blue
eyes aglow, knowing you have found
important sound. Gift it to me as though
you penned those words yourself, stored
them on some high shelf, saved them for
just this moment.

Tell me how they make you think
of stories I tell about my father, going
fishing, reminiscing of gentle love,
laughter shared between us. Things
you never knew from own father, but
grew to see as part of the me
that gently loved you.

Know the pain means nothing, never
happened, all that counts are the words,
their meanings, how much they came
to define me, you, our shared life,
and complicated history.

Should dismiss that echo now, you
are here again, distant friend,
but nearer than all those years
spent alone. Yet song comes back
to haunt, mixed feelings like a taunt
disturbing silence and sometimes sleep.

All the white horses have gone ahead,
I tell you that I’ll always want you near,
You say that things change, my dear…

never change,  umm hmm…

Elizabeth Crawford 1/13/09

Note: Digging through old pieces for Poetic Memoir. This is an old one, but still rings true.

* lyrics to Tori Amos song can be found on sidebar page

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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11 Responses to Music With Memory

  1. thotpurge says:

    stored them on some high shelf, saved them for
    just this moment…. that is so lovely. Perfectly captured.


  2. Jae Rose says:

    I can really feel how music has absorbed into your ‘story’ – for me it was an access to feelings i had no words for or couldn’t understand.. maybe our songs change but i think each one remains inside us..a kind of shortcut to that period of time.. I am (trying to) read ‘Happy’ by Derren Brown.. his opening chapter deals with the stories we tell ourselves how the words are all.. I wish you sleep full nights where the bad songs don’t come back


  3. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    This is soo beautiful!! ❤️


  4. Truedessa says:

    This spoke to me on a very deep level, thank you for sharing


  5. lavender says:

    This is fantastic! I’d be hard-pressed to pick even a favorite line.

    (There are a few accidentally missing words here and there. You may want to look over it again.)


  6. Sherry Marr says:

    This is so very lovely………I love the father’s love, which became “part of the me that gently loved you”. And LOVE the image of those white horses that went on ahead. Sigh. Gorgeous work, Elizabeth.


  7. I think of past that build and wreck in equal measures… maybe we have to sieve the good ones from the bad, maybe we have let some of them be bubbling all alone, while others should be savored changed…


  8. ZQ says:



  9. Mary says:

    Ah, there is grief, yes; but there are also wonderful stories. A sensitive write!


  10. gillena says:

    I always say the poets are the lucky one, to be able to paint feelings even without using colour, I enjoyed your write and thanks for sharing that lovely video song with us
    Have a happy Sunday

    much love…


  11. annell4 says:

    A lovely, loving piece. There are so many things to remind us of where we have been, what happened, what were the words, and maybe give a clue, to where we are going? Change and no change, it seems all the world changes, only we stay the same (to ourselves.) Can we see the change in ourselves? I don’t think so. I felt then, as I feel now….memories are tender.


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