Tag Archives: mom

your waxen figure

when i think of you
i am struck by how little i know about you
not as much as the year before
which was always

how a person can be real
and yet subsumed
collapsing in on themselves
so they become a black hole
containing everything
our petty, childish hopes

i rarely visit your place now
it has no connection to me
like the waxen figure at the funeral
it represents detachment

we could not find your brother
i don’t even know his name
nor the names of your father or mother
when i asked people shrugged

in this way i prove myself your son
carving myself anew
from whatever material
presents itself
like those delicate foam gliders
cut from hamburger trays
that you taught us to make
when we were little

Moores Hill
June, 2014

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willard harris

grandfather harris
i just learned that you have a first name
willard

i have never seen you
to me you were only a whispered
story of a house painter
drunken broken back
from a long fall

i think of my sister
now a house painter
her injuries

mom always said
you were a hobo
i decided long ago
this was her romantic fiction
you were just a bum

her narrative has ended
and for this reason
i am curious
about her origin story
so i ask my father because he is now the only one left

from him i learn that you were
intelligent and unreliable
uncomfortable in your own skin
unsure how to behave
like me

i learn
that you were in the great war
that you really were a hobo
that you didn’t lose your hair
that you had a moment of grace at the end
before you got brain cancer

i learned that my parents worried
that i would be, like you
a drunk
or crazy
a bum

mom once said
that you and i are
similar in a way that frightened her

now that i know you better
i feel the same way

Moores Hill
July, 2014