December 11, 2009

Talking With The Dead*

--------------------------------------------I wear mother sometimes
--------------------------------------------thinking she knows I'm showing off
--------------------------------------------her diamonds, her soul, her dislike.
--------------------------------------------Rarely do I talk with her

--------------------------------------------I wear my father on occasion
--------------------------------------------a ring or watch or fob.
--------------------------------------------He ignores me
--------------------------------------------drunk in his far corner.

--------------------------------------------I sit with silent Gimpa
--------------------------------------------in the Morris chair bought to go with him
--------------------------------------------to college

--------------------------------------------I the granddaughter who failed in school
--------------------------------------------tell him I went to college
--------------------------------------------and graduated with honors
--------------------------------------------as if it matters now

--------------------------------------------What matters are the books,
--------------------------------------------all books,
--------------------------------------------the science fiction, mysteries,
--------------------------------------------collected cookbooks that line my shelves

--------------------------------------------volumes that obscure the childhood
--------------------------------------------the inedible foods,
--------------------------------------------the tough mutton and slimy okra,
--------------------------------------------the hives, vomiting
--------------------------------------------the punishments

--------------------------------------------Always bread and milk
--------------------------------------------love masked in beatings
--------------------------------------------the anger hidden by Limoges
--------------------------------------------by Spode

--------------------------------------------The childhood hidden,
--------------------------------------------by generations
--------------------------------------------of possessions now lent away
--------------------------------------------safe somewhere else
--------------------------------------------while I
--------------------------------------------making a whole new circle
--------------------------------------------learn to love myself.

* It still needs work, but I like it. Thank you, Narrator.


  1. You are amazing. What a wonderful poem. Sometimes I talk with my grandmother. I can't bear to talk with my parents.

  2. I guess we all do the best we can and until we are safe from them we cannot talk to them but only at them.

  3. The photo and poem are both very moving. The describe well the long troubled journey that finally takes you to the very beginning, which is to love yourself. Thanks.


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Portland Union station Work has been sorted, and I’m home to sort my own things now.  I’ve gained roundness.  G says we are Mr. and ...