Thursday, March 27, 2008
Poem by Tamara Miles
Around my neck, an Alma-tross,
my wayward grandmother's wedding band.
My father found it when he came in from
school at ten years old, along with a goodbye note
meant for his father. I'm sorry. Albert and I
are in love. We are leaving. Forgive me.
He never saw his mother again.
He wept when he told me about over lunch
at Wendy's, over fifty years old and it still
hurt that much. She was his adoptive mother,
he had already been abandoned once...
He ran away, too, eventually, and didn't go home
for 45 years. When his father died, the family
couldn't find Dad. He was, as he likes to say,
studying drinking then. Last week, he visited
his father's grave for the first time, and gave Alma's
ring to me. We are all runaways.
My mother whispered, as she lay dying of
pneumonia, "I want water. I want water," and
I gave it to her, a few drops at a time, through
a straw. Her only goodbye letter to me, my only
one to her. But there was all this love before
and after. All this grace.
Alma wanted to come home after Albert died in
prison in Arizona, and she didn't have any money
to bury him. You can't come home, my grandfather
said into the phone, but I'll send you the money to
put my brother in the ground.
All dead now, and all thirsty, they lie in the sun
This wedding band is a prayer, and it
just might bring the rain.
Posted by Tamara Gantt at 8:22 AM