Close to the truth, but not

I don’t usually post poems on this blog, but this poem was previously published in an online journal that unfortunately doesn’t exist any longer.

 

SCATTERING ASHES INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO

Storm-light cracks the rain-whipped windshield.
We are numbed by the beat of the blades & grief. 

Your childhood was a shattered peace; memories cut on broken hearts.
When your father left, life derailed into a crushing wreck. 

Strangers you called “uncle” streamed after the bars closed.
You soothed yourself with lies.  You showed her mercy, love. 

Your mother wanted to be drunk when she died.  She reeked of urine.
You gave her vodka on ice.  It kissed her like morphine.

Your inheritance is a collection of rings; none made of gold.
She bequeathed mysteries for your mourning.

In slashing rain, you seek a point on the storm-dark horizon to take you
into a sweet memory of her, but she is obscure, inscrutable.

You offer ashes to the thunder & wind.
That death is our singular future gives you peace.

 Assured the moon will still pull these gulf waves
even when no one loved is left living.

(First appeared in Southern Hum, Issue 3, March 2006)

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