My Mother Wants for Me



My mother wants for me
The things she never had
As any good parents does.
Namely she wants me to have
A good relationship with Dad
Even amid the implosions and turmoil
Painting my childhood home.
Her own father
Who often enough vanished with his drink
Unaware and unconcerned about his daughter’s whereabouts
Assuming, my mother must believe, that she was happy
Fine and carefree.
The things he might have learned
Had he only had the gall to ask.
He loved her, my mother is reasonably certain
But before she could check to make sure
He was dead and gone
His sea salt embedded hands—
Which so often strayed from my grandmother’s body
To the bodies of women passing through—
Have been taken with him
Into the earth
Where they now encrust the inside of a plane wooden coffin
With the growth of salty crystals
Laid to rest somewhere
Alongside the ocean
Where his dead and moldering ears can still hear
The crash of the waves on the stone;
Where his sinking crooked old nose can still smell
The harmony of the sea salt mingled with death
On the beach where the scavengers thrive;
Where when at last the earth finally shudders
And shakes the sea out of its boundary
The tsunami waves will soak the earth and rise him up
And sweep him home to sea.


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