Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday Morning - 7/25/10

I sit with my mother at the table
and talk about the business of books.
I'm mid sentence and she stops me,
holds her finger in the air.
The silence lingers,
as her eyes scan the newspaper in front of me.

"Who died?" I ask,
because what else could it be?

"Oh, it is her. Oh how sad," she says and for a moment
her face crumples.

"Oh how sad. She was only 48."

"Who?" I ask.

It was a neighbor.
I don't recognize her name
and upon seeing this, my mother,
who has lived for so long in this house
on this street,
describes the departed's location on the block.

"Next door to the Levinsons"
she tells me.

"Oh, I say, sure," but I'm lying.
I have no idea who she is,
this woman, who my mother tells me had no children
but was engaged to be married,
dead from cancer.

"It's always so sad when a neighbor's child dies."

I think of the boy down the street,
who died in high school and the line I stood on
to get into his funeral. It wrapped through the parking lot.

My father is on the couch,
the newspaper on his lap,
just having fallen asleep,
He is cold, always cold
and his fingers are locking up.
My mother opens all this water bottles now.

and I think about how long they have been here
in this house,
on this street,
my whole life.
Always here.

I think of that and how I hope it's longer still.
Just a little bit.

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