Thursday, May 11, 2017

Three Poems

My Mother's Family

They're dead now.
They weren't, once.
Once they walked down the steps, smiling.
They cackled, they laughed at each other,
They softly competed and defended.

They were five sisters and three brothers-in-law,
And some were fathers and mothers,
And grandfathers and grandmothers.
They went down the shore in the summer.
They arranged it, to assemble, to be all together.
To me, it just happened. I was the little boy.

Bea arranged the gladiolas.
Tilly sang soprano, very soprano.
Sadye played cards with us.
Dorothy was a grumpy New Yorker.
And Rose was Grandmom.

Sam woke me up at 4 o'clock to go fishing.
I didn't want to go even though it had sounded like a good idea the night before,
But I went.

They walked down the stairs on a sunny afternoon
And smiled and talked and strutted for my mother's Super Eight with Kodacolor.
I just looked at it the other day.

They're dead now.
I miss them.
I miss me.

They're dead now.

Book Club

I'm older now.
I must look it.

Richard was effusive.
I'm so glad you came!”
What's the big deal?
It's only me.

He and Susan put out a big effort, and it showed,
Cooking for the book club.
They're the best.
Not salmon or beef, but salmon and beef,
and carrots of many colors.

When I spoke people looked at me with expectation.
I'm smart, I know that,
But I must be looking older, although nobody says it.
They are looking older too, of course,
But I'm the oldest, class of 1941.
I know the skin around my eyes is baggy in the morning,
Saggy, lax. This must be what they call rings.
I eat too much and have trouble with my weight,
But I guess appetite is, all in all, a good thing.

I left early.
What a crappy day I had.
But at least it was a day.

Will I be the first to die?
No, Tyzoon already did, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
And then Tom's wife, Ida Jean, died last year of Crohn's Disease and sepsis and full body multiorgan shutdown.
So I won't be the first,
But I won't be the last, either.

I was quieter than usual last night,
Although quieter than usual for me isn't that quiet.
Maybe that was age?
Nah, it was just a long, crappy day.
But at least it was a day.


We are men
And we are women.
I'm glad we are.
But that's all we are.

Time giveth
And time taketh away.
Time really sucks.
I hate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

We live in memories.
And then not even that.

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