It was early summer, 1969 when your mother and I visited the seashore in Blackpool. We had been married awhile and didn’t think we’d ever have children of our own.
That was OK though, we were researching the adoption process.
There was carousel at North Pier.
We spread a blanket on the sand.
You came along, nine months later.
He watched, trying to read faces. Were they amazed? Did they watch with doubt? Or devotion?
The collective countenance that peered back gave nothing away.
They took most of his tongue when they removed the tumor. Now his words are soft and indistinct.
I sit awake in our bed as
You slumber next to me
There’s frost on the garden and I struggle to steal your warmth.
Across the room – a blackened window
A simple thing, of little import, until
Old Sol peeks over the eastern
edge of the earth
Sunflowers turn their heads
to wish him well, as they are want to do.
and slide closer.
Today begins anew, as yesterday ended.
Welcome to World History.
My name is Dr. Contreras.
I expect you to know the syllabus; turn your assignments in, on time, and pay attention to the lectures.
There will be no wool-gathering in my class.
On the rim of the world
our legs dangle over the edge.
We watch your mother, hold hands with her brother,
your pervy uncle Sal.
They kiss, and leap into the abyss, eyes closed.
It makes us wonder.
Other people, other places, other things lie scattered,
from here to the other edge.
The other edge where your father sits
leaning back to back with his brother.
The one you’ve only seen photographs of, the one who was
killed in the war. When he stands, the men shake hands
your uncle steps from the edge.
It makes us wonder.
Relationships, lies, and truths are scattered about
edge to edge.
I turned fifteen in 1916. I was overseas. On that morn, I lifted my head above the trench to look across the battlefield.
Coils of concertina wire lay across the furrowed ground. Trenches filled with dead, frightened, and damaged men.