The Sunday Poem: Larry Goodell . . . An Easter Sunday

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
of friends.
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
common practice.
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.

Larry Goodell

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 poetheart2@gmail.com

Views: 125

Comment by August March on April 20, 2014 at 11:22am

The last two lines here have a gravitas that gathers up what was written before. Wow. So very groovy, plus the word concatenation in a poem!

Comment by cc on April 20, 2014 at 7:30pm

You sum this experience up so well in these lines, Larry -- I realize you rever it. I do, too, with my own, and realize the fragility of the passing on of values, traits, ... hanging on these slim generations. So, we talk about it - write a poem and share it - and it can pass on.

-Cirrelda

Comment by cathyray on April 21, 2014 at 8:24pm

whew!

Comment by Margaret Randall on April 25, 2014 at 5:56am

Such a beautiful poem, Larry! Such nostalgia, such memories. And the photo is fabulous.

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 15, 2014 at 9:11am

omg I love this portrait of life via family and generations--just love it to the iceberg pale green pieces of it--all of it--thanks for it

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 15, 2014 at 9:12am

Man oh man I'm reading thru three months of Sundays--a joy

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