that’s how I will remember you

I guess I’ve been on a bit of a memory/remembering poem kick these past few days. Here’s a piece from one of my favorite poetry books of 2010, Sharks in the Rivers, by Ada Limón (1976-).

“This Practice”

They say the first thing that goes
is the short-term memory. We forget
our keys, we forget the address,
we forget the name of the president.
I like to think it’s just a matter of practice—
we’ve had more time to practice the memory
of our brother’s face, our favorite light,
the creek that runs down the center of town.
I want to practice. Like the Russian soldier
who had to make up a word to say how
hard he would fight, said he would fight
fiercefully, that’s how I will remember you,
that’s how I will practice—fiercefully.