Friday, April 4, 2014

When Everyone Was Still Alive

I'm already behind on my poems.   Received word that my cousin Jack Higgins had died up in Middlebury Vermont.  Yesterday I drove as far as Albany, spent the night with our sisters here,
and will proceed up to Middlebury today.   So glad I went to visit these cousins two years ago, while Jack was still alive.

That last phrase led me to this third poem/draft:

When everyone was still alive

I look at the family photo from 1972
When everyone was still alive
Three generations at the table
Then, year by year, they disappear,
One after another.
Three this year
Within a few months.

I drive down Price Street in West Chester
And remember Lib and Ed
Molly and Johnny, Gummy and Vic
Ernie and Mary, Dot and Jeff
And my parents
When everyone was still alive,
And all of these are disappeared now
As I drive down Price Street.

I go to Mass at Saint Agnes
And even Dr.Roberts, father of my
Grade school friend and
Perennial deacon
Has disappeared.
I sit in the pew
My family favored
And look around
At a church full of
Young families
And strangers.

I weep for all I did not ask,
For all I did not notice
When everyone was still alive.

No comments: