Father and mother time to rise up put away the dark
give back to him more than he can ever use give what is
not his to have what he never knew he knows and all he feels
How can I judge the worth of a brooding life?
In a busy restaurant my giant son leans his head on my shoulder,
and I am his mother again, lifting his memory into my arms.
your son is a homeless drug addict your son is
your son is a homeless drug addict your son
until it becomes real
The closet in her room
remains as she left it
clothes losing their dark
interest. Ghosts in the dust.
the final time I saw my mother
she was trying to find
the last strawberry on her plate
I lay a Haggadah by a chair,
Unearth my Seder plate,
place upon it shank bone, egg, parsley,
bitter herbs. My bitter tears.
From our window, grosbeaks
and buntings tangle into flight. The hours count
earlier now, because of the way they are lit.
Here are my two sons in 1968
In their father’s arms.
He looks harmless.
They look doubtful and uneasy.
Once in a while the tufted sky would break open into dazzling radiance. I would often look up from my reading to behold a waterfall of fiery light, as if the Golden Fleece were hanging in a waterfall shedding all its precious minerals into the valley below.
I hoped returning
would spark memories, fill her with light,
the way the heat of day warms the bones.
I could talk
Two hours past midnight with
My father in the steelworker
Idiom of his city.