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A Lost World

Can you recall a roller coaster called the Big Dipper? No? It was a long time ago and if you’re over 40 you may have forgotten it. We tend to forget little things, but after a while all those little things add up to a whole world. Marilyn Robertson knows about forgetting. Her poem is called “A Lost World.”

What is lost today stays lost.
One story after another floats down
the murky corridors of mind,
all the way back to zero.
Then along comes the eraser.

Names, dates, who came with us
and who stayed home because they had chores
or their mothers said no — it’s a lost world.
It eats lunch with the dinosaurs.

You say: I can’t believe you don’t remember.
The four of us in the back seat of the convertible,
your father putting the top down…
the roller coaster…the handsome sailor.

I  concentrate on the scene.
It’s as flat as a raft on a dead sea.
the sailor tries to climb aboard, but after
fifty years his arms are not so strong.

He slips back into the current and drifts away,
along with the convertible
and all the rickety cars on the Big Dipper,
slowly chugging their way to the top.

—Marilyn Robertson

More Notes

The World Happiness Report, released by the United Nations, ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. This year, Finland is first, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland, followed by Netherlands, Canada,New Zealand, Sweden, Australia. The United States, which has never been in the top ten, silpped down four places from last year and is now 18th. President Trump may make American Great Again, but apparently not happier.