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Remembrance of Things Past

Poetry, Charlotte Plançon

Pharmacies and peg legs.

Bloodhounds and hidden retainers.

These are the tales of my childhood.

Somebody tell me,

When does one child’s name become another’s?

Distended vowels and chopped consonants

Reassembled into

A linguistic Frankenstein,

A memory monster.

My memories are being rethreaded like torn mittens

And the stitches don’t line up.

Help me,

The pattern is all wrong.

Do you not see, I shout across the dinner table

Where the seamstresses of my life sit

And sew

And reap

new memories I know to be

Rotten at the core


Do you not see?

They turn a blind eye,

My weird sisters.

The gatekeepers to my family history

Possess authority

My young bones cannot conceive of.

I can only cave as

They dig into me,

Fully aware

My Trojan horse is empty.

They hold all the keys

And I am locked out

Of my past


I once leapt from my changing table and dislocated my mother’s arm,

But I fear one day

Parchment smiles will laugh about my sister taking the dive

And I will be left to wonder

Did I ever make the leap?

I grow paranoid.

They’ve broken into my past,

They’ve rearranged the blocks in my mind,

And expect me to find myself among this new order they’ve instilled.

They speak as if they are letting me in on a secret.


My life is not a secret and

Not theirs to keep.

I rock myself at night and whisper

To the ghosts in my bedroom

I remember I remember I remember.

But remembering is not always enough.


I must wait for them

To teach me their trade.

For one day, I too will be

My family’s locksmith.


Charlotte Plançon is an English professor living in Paris. In between classes, she writes poetry, grades papers, and haunts her local café. Her work has been published in The Purposeful Mayonnaise and The Rainbug Poetry Review.


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