What can I say of a life lived but not remembered?

How do I tell my story through the gaping holes?

My memory made insubstantial by years of trauma

My mind trying desperately to forget


My memories lie hidden away in innumerable chests

Most locked beneath layers and layers of protection

Each needing the perfect keys to be opened once more

Yet the keys all look the same and I am at a loss


These chests clutter my mind, a labyrinth of the forgotten

A maze so deep I dare not wade within for fear of losing myself

Hidden within lies my childhood strewn across the floor

A few chests open while most remain locked


I’m missing more years than I’m able to remember

Decades of life missing from the mind’s eye

I fight to remember, to unlock all the chests

But, alas, to no avail as the keys won’t match locks


Through the stories and tales that others tell

I can piece together a shabby resemblance of memory

I can tell you pieces of my story, painstakingly patched together

But is it really mine if it’s been taken from others words?


So I write out my story and share it with you

I write down my pain and my joys and all in between

I write to remember or at least have a record

A journal of my life upon which to reflect


It’s odd, you know, to read words in your own handwriting

Words you know you wrote creating a story you can’t remember

To read of pain and trauma you feel but don’t recall

To rely on these records in lieu of real memories


It’s a unique kind of pain to feel the effects of trauma unknown

Knowing something happened, something that cuts to the core

But to never know what that something may be


Yet there are glimpses of memories long forgotten

Flashes of faces and feelings and motions

But are they real or just a dream?

Did this truly happen or was it concocted by a desperate mind?


I remember running in fear, crying in desperation

I remember it was a fear of him, though I know not why

I remember flashes and glimpses of what may be truth

I remember enough to question but never know

I remember in pieces like a puzzle undone

Each new memory a clue to an old aching

Chests open slowly, one at a time

But never in the order I need them to


And so I wade through the labyrinth

Past chests of every shape and size

Hoping to find the answers hidden within

Hoping to find peace