The Absence of Memory - Olivia Hajioff

This year, Spring came for the first time.
Never before did this greening chatter of infant leaves gather above my head
nor did these birds shoot like arrows through marbling clouds.
How did I forget that frowzy seaweed wriggling through the pond
or the sprinkling of those moonbeam coreopsis, buttoned to softening earth?

These advents are not renewed, but truly new.
You cannot forget what you have not known
and I had seen only their kin before.

The unremembered world is a gift we cannot keep,
for presence is the absence of memory.

Olivia Hajioff, a Fulbright scholar, is a concert violinist and teacher from England. She lives in northern Virginia and performs nationally and abroad with her husband as the Marcolivia Duo. Her hobbies include taking long walks, writing and reading. Her favorite authors include Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wallace Stegner and Richard Russo. Olivia also endeavors to include the practice of Stoic philosophy in her daily life.

Olivia has written since early childhood. Her first published story, at age nine, was televised as a children’s ballet for the British television show, ‘Freetime’. She was also a finalist in the Cadbury’s Short Story Competition at age ten. Since then, her writing has appeared in the British Fulbright magazine, HIV Now project, on Stoic philosopher William B. Irvine’s website, and in the Ginosko Literary Journal (forthcoming). She was the 2020 Grand Choice Winner of the Laura Riding Jackson poetry competition.