|Follow Kristina Moriconi|
Kristina Moriconi is a poet and essayist. She received her MFA in creative writing from Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington. Her work has appeared most recently in Fox Chase Review, Under the Sun, and Crab Creek Review. She is the author of a chapbook, No Such Place (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and she is the 2014 Montgomery County Poet Laureate.
Check out this new poem by Moriconi:
Don’t you remember?
It was you who convinced
your seven-year-old son
the hijacking was just a silly game,
telling him the only way to win,
to go home, was to play along.
Trapped on a DC-8 for two days,
only you knew how to keep up
this charade, smiling at him
as your captors herded you
alongside camels on the desert
sands of Dawson’s Field.
Only you knew how to explain
why the bad men blew up the plane,
why doing without food and water
made it more likely your son would win.
The way you chose to stand
a little too close to the man
with a shoot-to-kill grip
on his make-pretend gun.
How this would not be your bravest moment.
Decades later, your memory seized
by stroke, only you knew
how to convince yourself
remembering was just a silly game;
Bach, Beethoven, Flight of the Bumblebee,
your hands hovered above mute keys,
music playing somewhere in your mind.
Co-editor Quinn Fairfeldt on “Don’t you remember?”: For me, this powerful poem begins with the title, which is simultaneously a fervent plea, a sweet cajoling, an accusation and a hollow, hard-throated realization. Within the first few lines, Moriconi has deftly placed us in a tense scene, using lines like “telling him the only way to win, / to go home, was to play along” to tell us all that we need to know. We are both eager and cautious as we move through the poem, afraid of what tragedy might materialize in front of us. And then, at the turn, this startling heartbreak, as if we’ve forgotten that yes, memory is a game, this silly game, and that remembering is finding our way home.