Friday, May 22, 2009

Coffee with Mom

"Those busy arms of yours are cool now
like this river with its broad silence
winding soft and slow."

--Attila Józef, Sleep Quietly Now

The removal of a kidney
brought you downtown,
yours didn't come out, but Daddy's did, buying him
coffee with a cheese danish
from across the street, whatever it took
to make a red light turn green again.

He had five more years left on the books,
marked by a daily dose of dipping his hands
in the waters of acetone to terminal cancer.
Better than staying in Hungary
during the War and becoming a ghost
on a railroad train. Choose your poison.
You left early, survivors

stuffing everything
inside a back pocket,
desperadoes
who taught me
to ride standing up
without losing my balance.
And so here I am.

You want to know if I've
been taking good care of myself.
Yes, I say. I have.
Afterward, we talk about the children,
there are no grand kids yet,
catching up on how the world's been doing
playing Disney on high-def sets,

wars, the presidency, and all the rest,
and how everything
is getting smaller
and costing more money. Money.
How it runs out like time,
the bottom of your change jar
with two pennies.

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