I should have known she would lose her mind,
forget her name,
along this ragged stretch of Big Sur coast.
It is called Nepenthe after all.
Nepenthe – the mysterious drug of forgetfulness.
Nepenthe – eraser of all sorrows.
I have experienced this once before,
this redwood and surf induced amnesia.
Right here at this spot, my cat escaped the car,
ran for the trees,
and surrendered to the lure of the forest.
I searched and called, and made deals with God.
He never came.
The cat forgot he ever had a name.
I can see from her eyes it’s not far away,
that feral state.
My dog now hears the song of Nepenthe.
The jeers of the mountain jays drown-out my voice
in her ears.
The smell of ancient duff fills her nose.
Someday you will run with these jays forever,
but not today.
Today, Greta, we are getting back in the van and heading south.