Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Familial Belongings


I have my grandfather's 10-year-old, wet 
feet, from swimming the Mississippi night
swamps with water moccasins.

I have my sister's tears she can't
cry, in my pocket. I have my grandmother's 
ingrown howl at my grandfather's

death. I have my other 
grandmother's flannel shirt, 
smothering me with love.

I have my brother's fiddle in my 
ear. I have my other brother's bear 
hug in my other pocket. I have my 

youngest brother's verbal rhythms 
in my other ear. My cousins. My aunts. 
My uncles. I have my niece's hand-drawn self 

portrait in my breast pocket, her tender 
heart next to mine. I have the clippings 
of my nephew's angelic hair in one hand 

and my other nephews' same in the other. 
I have my eldest niece's trepidation behind 
my navel. 

                 How the pain of living thins
a heart wiry strong with hope, yes, hope. 
I have my wife's laugh, laugh of hope.


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