I watch movies to remember who I am—like lightning rods, stories of other lives ground me. When my identity wavers, I follow films until I’m back. Rarely, a movie retrieves a missing piece, one I forgot existed. Those episodes stand my hair on end, shake me so hard I’m remade.
In one, a woman learns to time-travel, finds her childhood self, comforts the girl, helps her. I recognize the scene instantly—That’s me. My small self received that visit. She didn’t understand who it was—but today she knows, our shared eyes stunned, a blinding flash of recognition.
In another, a young boy, badly beaten by his father, sustains brain damage. Now a grown man, he can’t remember the event until he witnesses a boy beaten and thrown down the basement stairs. His face as the past overwhelms him is my face. When I leave the theater, I collapse in my friend’s arms, sobbing from some dark place.
A California resident and poet for more than 40 years, Cynthia Anderson is the author of eleven books, most recently a collection of haiku and senryu entitled Full Circle (Cholla Needles, 2022). Her poems have been published widely in journals and anthologies, and she has received multiple nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. In 2020, she took up short-form poetry including haiku, senryu, cherita, haibun, and split sequences. Her recent work focuses on the natural world and her family history.
Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens (Green Poet Press). She makes her home in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park.
Author’s website: www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com
⚡ Formerly Known as Ion, haibun by Cynthia Anderson which was nominated by MacQ for the Red Moon Anthologies, and selected for publication in Contemporary Haibun 17 (Red Moon Press, 2022).