Memory Wave

Margaret Crompton

Photo Credit: Steve Crane/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd)

He takes her hand and waits for her wave of memory. Today?


What? What this?

Smell. Scent. Fresh. Air. Tree. Tree? Is this tree?

Tree is rough. Bark. This is smooth, soft. Touches me. It feels like my hand. Not mine. Not-me.

I see. I look at it, this not-tree. Not me. But like me. Hand—touch. Face. Eye—see. Nose—scent. Mouth—speak.

I speak: ‘What?’

Other mouth speaks: ‘Miranda?’

I hear: ‘Hello Miranda.’ Ear—hear. I say: ‘Hello. Mi—Rand—A.’

‘No,’ says the other mouth. ‘You are Miranda. I am Ferdy. Say: “Hello Ferdy.”’ Ferdy is not tree. Not it. Ferdy is he.

He touches me. His hand holds my hand. His mouth touches my mouth. My mouth feels. I feel. I feel happy. My heart feels happy.

I touch his face with my hand. I touch his mouth with my mouth. My lips kiss his lips. I kiss his hand.

His eyes look at me and overflow. Tears run over his face and touch my hand. You touch my hand.

I embrace you and weep. I feel full of joy. I am in love. I am love.

‘I love you, my Miranda,’ you say.

‘I love you, my Ferdinand,’ I say. ‘Who are you?’

‘I am your loving husband,’ he says. ‘You are my beloved wife.’

‘Husband?’ I say. ‘Wife? Do I know you?’

‘We’re married,’ says other mouth. ‘We live together, when you’re well.’

‘Well?’ asks my mouth. ‘What is “well”?’

‘“Well” is when you can remember,’ other says.

‘Remember?’ asks my mouth.

Other hand touches mine. Not-me. Soft. Smooth. What is this? Is this tree? Scent? Smell. What this? What?


Her wave of memory climbs, curves, climaxes, collapses. He holds her hand until she sleeps. Tomorrow? Perhaps.


Since becoming 70, Margaret Crompton has turned from textbook writing (communicating with children in social and health care) to exploring poetry, short stories, drama, literature for children. She reviews children’s books for Friends’ Journal (PA). Two of her plays have been performed by Script in Hand—so-called because they all enjoy acting but can no longer remember the lines. Some poems have been set to music for the choir in which she and her husband sing. And some have been published. Two short stories have been published. “Memory Wave” is her first encounter with flash fiction. Email: margaret[at]

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