My Brother and I are talking on the phone about our lives to date. He is in Georgia.. I ask do you remember all of these? These memories have never left me. And now you in the antique business. And so successful.
Longueuil and 1959 so long ago
your birth and coming home…
I couldn’t hold you
Mum afraid I’d drop you…
And then we left for Louisville…
you almost died there…
only nine months old
dehydration stole your nourishment
You and Spats
your black and brown-pawed cocker?
played one potato, two potato
pawing the ground.
Mum’s miscarriage…you were eight…
she called to you for help…
blood seeping across the sheet…
you called the doctor and then Dad…
Dad fixing tea and taking the lunches
he made before he went to work.
up the stairs to her
Your sisters away at college…
even now she won’t let
those outside the family
Part of that child stayed with her
to form the clot…
you in the hospital waiting
room, alone, not moving
while Dad went in to visit her.
Who can tell what happened after that?
Two girls in college, a boy in private school…
Oxford was Mum’s dream for you…
You again in fetal position
on the floor protecting yourself
Our father standing over you
Had you already drawn into another culture?
And later so proud he was…
your high school graduation, air force honor guard, two sons
the Gulf War…
You say you can’t forget the eldest one, ten
helping his mother throw your clothes
on the driveway…
you refused to leave
after you returned from the war
Did you ever recover?
He Doesn’t Answer
And your time in prison, I say, Dad drove every weekend to visit with you
and when Dad died
We, your sisters, drove those ten hours to visit you.
Your eldest son
who thought he hated you
broke a five-year silence
and took you in his arms.
He says yes I do remember them. I’ll never forget them. All of it shaped what I am today. And now my sons are going to work with me in the business. I can’t believe how my life has changed.
I say, I love you, never stopped loving you, and am so proud of what you have accomplished.
Air Hugs I Say and Air Kisses.
He says right back to me
We hang up the phone
And it’s just me again.