Mean old man says Dummy, dummy
You let that boy beat you
weren’t first in your class.
Mean old man
takes them all to the toy store
tells them pick out what you want Continue reading
She has one thing brought across the ocean
travelled across the country
back and forth and back again.
I sit on the edge of the bed
at the nursing home
and she tells me
Take it home with you
Take it home
Take it home.
Her mother gone at 44.
Unlucky. Four. Four.
Made her the one thing that she thinks of now.
The one thing she worries about.
I say, in my faltering language,
Auntie must have.
Auntie must have always.
Auntie’s mother make. I know.
I know Most Important Thing.
I know precious.
I help. You have. On top of dresser.
Maybe [shelf], doll only.
I use my hands to draw the word I do not know.
She repeats in English in case I don’t understand.
You take. You take.
I have to leave.
Friday. Tuesday. Thursday.
I bring her a notebook
Tell her Write down important thing
Write down what I do
Write down what Auntie take to new place
I do, [okay]? I do. You need something, I do.
You write your language, [okay]. I read. Write easy word.
I can read. My friend can read. Friend help. Everything [okay].
Sunday. Thursday. Monday. I look in the book.
A tidy notation next to the address
I guess she must have been four years my junior
I know she was younger than me. Continue reading
At first it was hello
and a brief acknowledgment.
Once. Continue reading
More times I have cried.
Put on a coat.
You’ll catch a cold.
You can’t go around saying things like that.
I wish you wouldn’t go. Continue reading
tied to the death of a friend
Can’t tear apart
the pain of Vincent’s family and friends
and the pain I own. Continue reading
I said your name tonight
when I meant to say another.
I haven’t said your name aloud
but maybe wondered
who else was thinking about you.
My cousin spoke right away
and said they’d never found out
who left you for dead.
I said your name tonight
and found somebody else remembered.
Somebody else remembered.
I never meant to say your name.
in casual conversation
I found an acquaintance
connected by two degrees.
I heard her name
and asked who knew her
and she turned out to be
standing in the circle
as we were talking.
This little girl
free of her parents
out from under the umbrella
free to turn her face to the rain. Continue reading
Don’t know what to say to you
when you tell me about those angry adoptees
and how you had a hard time listening to them
because their words
weren’t what you wanted to hear.