January 13, 2006


i thought about you all day
on what was the 82nd anniversary
of your birth
happy birthday to you

it's been 13 years
since you've been gone

my first crushing blow
of death
unless we count your momma

i can still hear and see my mom
even though she was on the other
side of the wall
talking to your sister on the phone
and i knew
you didn't make it

it sounds cruel
but i'm glad that you moved
back to your hometown
when i was younger
the distance lessened the pain
of you being taken away forever

on the day of your funeral
we ate hamburgers in the parking lot
of your apartment building
and i stared at the ruby and turquoise
glass pieces on your window sill
and remembered that summer we
went to the library and got our hair done with momma
and sat behind the building in reclining lawn chairs
reading our books

mine was about the flood

i often tour that apartment in my mind
and the one you had here too

the other day
i found the family tree we ciphered out
and i wrote in my messy young hand

you were so gracious to let me feel like
that family was somehow my own

i admired your spunk
and the twinkle in your eye
especially when you were a member of the gestapo

i remember your aquamarine ring
and you taught me the smell of bengay
and i still eat open face cheese sandwiches
with tomato and bacon
fresh from the toaster oven

and at christmas, you are never far from me
as i wrap present after present
but no one pays me with quarters to do it

not many flea markets around here anymore
but i always keep my eyes open
for a unique cup and saucer
of course, i would never pay full price

thank you for being there for me
happy birthday

0 rays through the fog:

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