Friday, January 26, 2007

WIDE 'a' wake

Not. Sleeping.

-whatcha doing?
-not sleeping.
-no, but... kay, but what are you doing?
-sitting here, numb with knowing i am just not asleep. ts'almost 4 am.
-lay down.
-tried that. just did what i'm doing here, but felt even more aware of it.
-so, instead you're typing to yourself?
-you never pretended at not being crazy.
-true dat.

oh, susanna. with a banjo on my knee.

-possibly it's spelled "suzanna".
-hm. i guess.
-the first nations population in the americas was decimated by as much as 93% as a result of imported disease.
-yeah, you read that last week.

-the heating in this house sounds like indigestion.
-maybe it's more serious.
-yeah. could be smallpox.
- does that make you tired?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

a present for you while you're sleeping

talk me out of it, do. i don't want me wanting you anymore than you do. so do that thing, that hiding away in your ugliest you- i encourage you to.

be cool and detached, say you hate me. come to me and then curse at my kindness. take my soft invitations and make them grow sharp- guard your injurious, treacherous heart.

clear from your head the time that we've had, and PLEASE while you're at it, clear mine. i don't know how to do that, but you're practised and mean. so take it and scour it clean.

but stay far from my sight i can't turn from your face. keep a distance, disappear, i will not ignore you. cease to be, my lost friend- because i refuse to pretend i don't love you.

Monday, January 8, 2007

ancestor plate

for this quick prayer i will wear your uncle's coat, your grandpa's rubber boots- easy to slip on, here at the back door. you toddle up with a finger pointed at your two year old belly- "me?"

your little paw offers up a cookie crumb- dessert before turkey- a treat to tide you over. dinner is coming late today. and so a piece of shortbread (we made those yesterday) makes it onto the plate i am holding. a plate for those who are not here with us, but who have made us who we are.

"i'm going outside, did you want to come?"

"yes." and with that you are gone andback again, your six inch sorrels rushed into the kitchen, awaiting your two year old feet.

"coat?" and you're pointing to the hooks.

"i'll carry you, my love. up!" held close inside the lining of this soft wool coat, held close against my heart. warm with all this new year's feast we wander through the yard.

your grandpa's big unbending boots slow my slippy step, make us hold each other stronger. warmly.

"it's slippy on this path. so warm today and now all frozen back over."

"yeah." you point up to the sky. clear night.

"this plate is for our grandmas and our grandpas. our ancestors. ancestors means our family who don't live here with us now."

"yeah!" you nod one time and we giggle in the snow.

the tree stands in the garden. a bird house sits inside, a smaller version of the house we live in. and you a smaller version of who you'll be.

"this food is for a thank-you. and an open door into our lives for all of our blood. everyone we love, even those we never met." your shining eyes tell me i am speaking for myself. you know, little man. you simply do. "will you say thank-you with me, owen?"


"good. can you say gookschem?"

"gookschem" is perfect in your mouth. and with shining eyes on both of us, i take you back inside.