blessings

brother

IMG_2298 1

I can’t imagine how puzzled
my mom must feel
to have outlived her son.

Her precious dark-haired boy,
the big one
at age 2,
meant to look after his blond
blue-eyed brother,
then curly haired
little sister,

then me, the squealing surprise package
when he
was 11.

Maybe he should have been
the baby
for a little longer,
caretaker that he was.

Never could stand
to see anyone cry, always
the one to say “It’s okay.”

I wish we’d had more time
in these years, my brother,
but I’m glad
I got to
take care of you.

for-tune

yinyang
Because the hour’s late
and the smell of the air gobsmacked me
into the past
this is all I can leave here.

I am fortune’s child, and how that happened
is the mystery of my earthly millisecond.
I take her gifts
and give back a few of my own,
but really,
I don’t think it’s expected.

My bikes rarely get flats,
the shower’s done before the hot water runs out,
the alternator expired at a side-road
off the busy highway,
my mother and father were never mean,

And best of all,
I can carry a tune, for
what that’s worth.

Family

The Large Family

La famille nombreuse by Max Ernst

It is usually simple.
I am elsewhere, they are in another where.
Not quite shades, not quite present.
Bone, blood connected over the wires.

Here, I am in the soup,
the flavors multivalent,
sometimes
a bit too salty
even for my taste.

A family full of matriarchs.

Blessings on Pharoah

As the Israelites departed Egypt, it is written,
Pharoah asked Moses for a blessing.

Godmade mutant nature had
creeped fell hopped
flew flowed erupted
festered gnawed bit
until Pharaoh said “Let me go. By my gods and your One God, let me go.”

We will never know
what transpired between them,
Moses with his pack and stony coins of bread,
sandals untied from his haste to begone;
Pharaoh with eyes red and cheeks sunk in sorrow.

They must have heard the deafening silence outside,
broken by a lonely bleat, a sob, a slamming door.

I like to think Moses raised an eyebrow
and took his leave,

Pharoah wondering if that’s the form
this new evil god’s blessings take,
or if he had already been blessed
tenfold.

john-martin-the-seventh-plague-of-egypt