family

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.

Evva

Dale obit

Pardon me, my dearest friend,
while I for two minutes make your death about me.

Because they didn’t tell us our friends would die.

Maybe his friend, or hers, or theirs,
Maybe my mom’s and dad’s,
then my dad
then my brother.

But our tribe, the ones we choose, the ones
we lounge about laughing at dumb teevee with,

the ones who teach us to cross-country ski,
and always get us the perfect gift
and agonize with over yet another pair of shoes

And then cry with and
move away from and
who never listen to our excellent advice
nor we theirs,

the ones whose cores are so strong
forged in the fire of abuse, loneliness, and
unspeakable sorrow,

they

you

were supposed to prevail.

Because goddamnit

It’s all about me.

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.