I have a rule about my journals. I’m not allowed to tear pages out. It doesn’t matter if I’ve written something incriminating, if I’ve completely changed my opinions or if I’ve tried to draw a cartoon and didn’t like the finished product ONE BIT. The page must remain.
When I lived with my parents after graduating from college, I had a rushed move from Provo to Salt Lake so I didn’t really go through my stuff or carefully pack up boxes. I found, one day, a very random scrap of paper. It had clearly been torn out of my journal. The handwriting was mine. The experience, I remembered. I didn’t remember writing the poem and I didn’t remember tearing out the page.
I only remember the experience, now recorded as a memory in this poem:
“A Faded Trail”
Nothing’s left but faded memories.
I stopped, ignored the warnings.
I didn’t listen to a word,
found myself awake in mornings
hearing sounds I’d never heard.
And inside the walls had crumbled.
I could feel forgotten tears
all at once, proud and humbled,
full of courage, full of fears.
Welcomed back into the color,
I then wondered what I’d missed,
thought myself filled up with valor
as I searched and I wished
to find a scrap of memory
a taste or smell that might remind.
I could only look in front of me.
The trail faded out behind.