Sunday, June 30, 2013



All the stories a family shapes and reshapes
are mine alone now. Scraps surfacing
without anyone to reminisce over:
the time daddy chased a peeping tom
pounding down the gravel beside the trailer,
me having caught his face at my window,
and guns suddenly emerging from beneath
my parents' pillows. Or the goat, Blossom,
who became a pet we let sleep in the kitchen
at night. The chihuahua who would only come
if you yelled "Hush!" Mama's cherry pies,
the string of poodles with French whore names,
Daddy's fried quail, the unexplainable joke about
Van Horn, Grandmommy's seizures, what Bill said
when he broke his arm, the poinsettia that took over --
all now up to me to remember, save or set free.
My attic needs purging but Sundays I miss them
fierce, miss the smell of dumplings, bickering over
what to watch, somebody hogging the couch, and
people who knew what I looked like that first day
of first grade, brown dress and red ribbon, a dime
for the week's milk tight in my fist, as I prepared
to live without them.


by Maggie Jochild, written 3:15 p.m., 30 June 2013

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