My mind is a crossword puzzle.
The list of how to care for you, our lives, myself,
Is lost between letters like
“With mom dead, do I have a family?”
I try to keep track,
circling every relevant line in invisible ink,
finding more jumbled letters with every pass.
“Am I here?”
“Do I matter?”
“Will my children have to face this too?”
I know there’s something I circled, something I’m forgetting, something essential.
But it’s gone.
At the end of the day I am left with
crumpled paper and
a list I can’t see, half-done and forgotten.
It’s funny how he steals
Every drive to move forward,
Like a bug on a rose –
Unnoticed until all the petals
Five pounds of garden tomatoes,
Planted in the few peaceful moments of months of grief,
With Romanza in the background
As onions and garlic and wine bubble together.
I remember cold ski vacations of Dad in the kitchen, blaring Italian, making pasta and meatballs, and mom laughing.
No wonder they call it comfort food.
Trying to find yourself is like
Wondering what home looks like
As you sit on the couch by the fire,
Family laughing with you,
With no where else to be.
Like God, we simply are.
First off – fuck you.
Let’s see you watch the blood come from your mother’s dead mouth after minutes of cpr you knew was hopeless.
Let’s see you when two months later your grandmother dies slowly, drowning
And a week later when your grandfather dies slowly, drowning
And two days later the dog dying in your young brother’s arms as he sleeps.
Let’s see you handle watching your father’s only remaining parent lose the will to live and die over months
And months, each day fearing and begging for the call it’s over.
Good luck staying on your feet.
Good luck waking up, going to work, doing the dishes and holding your broken family together.
What are you going to do when you fail?
Warm tea in the living room,
In a calm house