I Can Still Hear It
Though winter’s carol season had just passed,
time doesn’t change discs.
What Child Is This strummed my ears.
There were still cookies,
and cookies needed milk.
After that first chocolate-chip bite,
I took a sip and choked.
Time doesn’t change the milk either.
The song ended,
I reached to change the disc, before
Little Drummer Boy
but we both startled
at the phone’s ring.
It isn’t my father’s teacher voice
but my Mom’s voice,
and to the point.
Her words were pumice on my smile.
Sense limped and flapped against my brain,
but it rejected it,
just noise — not communication.
A polite parrot-marionette,
gripped the phone and
I know I bruised her,
at the fringe of understanding,
but I couldn’t grasp
“Dad has died.”
She’d always been patient,
but I’m certain
At last the lever lifted
and comprehension poured
into my pail-brain.
Before I had to pick-up
I sat on the rug
One thing echoed,
a partner to my Mother’s
unwelcome reality —
I would never hear one particular sound,
an unexpected treasure,
beautiful Texas drawl
as he says
I’m determined to ask him then just to hear it:
I will speak heartily
for the work of his mind deafens him,
“When you got to heaven, did you still do math problems
even though you know all the answers?”
He will glance up
with his pencil and a quick smile
and call my name just as I remember.
“Ah good, you’re here.
Come here and let me show you something.
This problem’s new.”
for RWP Day 9
Everything about that girl is Texas.
Nah, she don’t talk like that.
She says, “y’all.”
Well, there’s lots of folks who do that.
Then what else is there?
She’s ’bout as broad as that state.
Well that ain’t very nice.
She’s got pecan colored hair or did til the gray showed up. Her eyes are about the same color as a blue Northern blowin’ in. Have you seen her lift a feed bag? Gal’s sturdy like a good longhorn. She’s fair skin like Padre Island beach but sprinkled with freckles.
Yep, but what’s she like?
A gospel song, with a bit of country and Beethoven thrown in.
Yeah, I always thought she’s like a book a poems, but unexpected ones, not the mushy love stuff. Always found myself having to think around her.
Dang right, she’s got a wicked sense a humor, but she ain’t mean.
Yer right ’bout that. Proud and loyal like a good hound but way smarter. Kind a like my grandpa’s cats. Or a coyote. Hey, wasn’t she a teacher?
Yep. Came by it natural–father, mother, grandmother, aunts, uncles. No escapin’ it. Loved it too. Mostly she loves words and what they can create.
Shoot, I knew dat. She done made us, didn’t she.
for Poet Asides Day 9