What We Could Not Let Go Of

It is the time my father’s voice
Begins to slur; my mother’s back and blood
Cannot move her, move slowly enough through her,
Without a knife, a pill, a corpse’s generous bone.
Death is not her friend but his, with its habit
Of gifting what is left of close and distant
Relatives. He never wastes a breath
On Death’s ill-timed greed.

He asked my sister Becca
For her new red Ford to give his favorite son.
She must have boiled to save it for her husband.
Thwarted even so, Death is not his foe.
How else would he have made a life
Pulling the maimed from cars
Crushed by speed, houses charred
By pretty lights? It is all matter of fact.

My mother, though, is still a glass
Full of her daughter’s final glassy stare.
Every night she shatters sleep
With too long prayer and careful notes
On kitchen counters to be read
By the living and the dead in looping script.
Rebecca, I love you! last night’s note said.
Having just arrived alive by plane, I wasn’t jealous.

My own young sons already walk the house, divvy up
Their father’s guns, guitars, his father’s army
Knives. “Vultures,” he laughs. Perhaps.
Their urge is just as natural as burial in the sky.
The birds fly off with eyes and arms.
Our things, our larger bodies,
Feed our young what we once loved,
What we could not let go of.

24 March 2015

2 Responses to “What We Could Not Let Go Of”

  1. George says:

    very powerful…

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