It’s all gone dead dying out
memories the fresh memories that
live only in my mind.
I relive them in flashes
but the distance kills me
so when I hum Stardust
it’s my mother, teaching me to play the piano
playing that piece as I learned it.
And when I think of San Antonio Rose
how it goes
I think of my dad, now weak, now old.
My mother is long dead.
But my home family life, that home of Roswell
that family–the concatenation
of images sing
sing through my mind
faces and places and clothes.
Private to me and to die with me
as I die
when that is.
Thanks for having me over for dinner
over & over, family
of my youth & friends & family
You are all gone now, except the fringe
of what’s left.
Dad, I hope you survive well
this latest onset of age.
May we renew ourselves by talking about
the shared things in times passed.
Time has passed
leaving those picnics in the backyard by
the wishing well & clothesline
& flowering yucca and gardens of my mother
and all that ham & chicken & hamburgers & hotdogs
and those iceberg lettuce salads with pale tomatoes
and all those pies, apple, peach, lemon, chocolate &
the memory fades.
Now my family is so oddball & strange
and near and dear
that it’s hard to talk about it to my dad.
Are they married? he asks
You have a granddaughter?
I have to remind him, families are thoroughly
different and were
long before this new century–
We didn’t have a picnic
but we ate out at the Range
blue corn chicken enchiladas red chile, green chile
chef’s salad, ice tea, bubblegum soda
and little Lyra loved her salad, good green lettuce
& good red tomato
& took her chicken fingers home
and this is as good as we ever can do.
My son & I went to Easter Sunday church together–
it just happened, against my will.
But when I was a kid, it was
I remember I was baptized on Easter Sunday.
Now, anything of the old memories
that allows me to live them again
is a reminder, it doesn’t all die.
I think, I thank, give out love as
best I can.
To live in the resurrection
of the moment.
Photograph is from about '52, our backyard, Roswell, New Mexico, one of our frequent family picnics . . If you'd like to see a bundle of my Spring Poems including links to recordings of my reading most of them, plus a new poem called "Goddess of the Big Bang," simply go here. This poem came to life in 2000.
Happy Spring, Easter, day of Eostre to all! Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org