Nancy: Those strong years of childhood, again and again weave like bright threads through my todays.
Tonight, I might write my name on the dark
with a sparkler. I might write my name, or
I might change my mind and write “Papa”,
at my age life is like that, I might see
myself sitting in the grass waiting for my father
to strike the match, I might see another year
in thunder on top of the mountain, wrapped
in blankets, there are so many years waiting
in sparks, waiting to be unwrapped like the
firecrackers folded in their mysterious Chinese
newspapers. If I were to light a sparkler my father
might be a young man again, waiting for the dark.
Tonight I might gather my family of dogs and cats
and say watch, I am going to astound you,
I am going to write my life on the dark in fire.
Alan: When someone you love dies, you don’t stop talking to them, even though you know it is just an offering to emptiness.
In your dream, Uncle
and Aunt and Father and Mother
walk up the long slope, its top
hidden in mist. Just short,
they pause, Uncle looks back
down at you, takes the last steps,
vanishes. You wake knowing
he will die first. You tell me
this, and so it proves.
In my dream, which I
am having over and over,
you are falling, the road flashing
sideways, and I am thinking
“no” and at the same time realizing
that I am looking back
at what has already happened,
your head hitting the pavement
again and again and again.
It is no accident, then,
that I am looking up into the mist,
looking up into the mist and shouting,
telling you this, shouting
into the silence.