Sunday, June 17, 2007


I sometimes speak of you, but not enough
Sometimes I mention your name
Usually when dusk begins to settle down
Around my shoulders, soft and gray
And your grandchildren are close to sleep
It’s strange that I summon only misty bits
Like remembering a painting seen long ago
A portion of shadowed forest, a corner of sky
A flicker of sunlight warming one single rose

And they ask me who you are, and I cannot recall
The entire picture, just a fraction of your profile
While you drive and pump your hand against the wheel
Off time to The Cars
Your laugh, oddly high-pitched and infectious
When the dogs all jump in your lap
The sound of ice, like Christmas bells
Against your whiskey glass

I tell them snapshots, I sometimes speak of you
But not enough, sometimes I mention your name
Spin stories from raw wool, color them with comfort
Weave you from diaphanous thread, present you
As I see you on Sundays, hot summer days
The wind tumbling through your hair, the scent of
Conesus lake, the dip of red and white bobbers
Blue and gold dawns, omelets, Atlantic-colored eyes

Atlantic-colored eyes, closed, the corners of your mouth
Turned down, white T-shirt, always
With your novels, and your first prize ribbons
Scattered amongst your other treasures as you nap
I tell them parts, but never the whole, I offer them
Heritage unfinished, and loss, and Elvis-like sideburns
Your Dress Whites, stark against the gunmetal ship
Dogwood, poplars, the yellow roses you sent
I keep those fragrant petals still, dewy, fresh, alive

I sometimes speak of you, sometimes I mention your name
If the night is deep into its journey, and neglects to
Bring me along, the walls hear me tell
Of grand days, Fourth of Julys, Buicks and ducks, of
Ports of call, good steaks, bad rhythm, Cindy
Who lay her head on your chest and passed into
Forever, you who never cried, wept that August day
I recall every detail then, left behind to face dawn alone, I see the whole
Of you, as if in a hologram -- I see you best in the dark, but
Not enough


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