Jul 112011

by Michael Estabrook

Breaking through the night

through the darkness

to the light on the other side,

as if darkness were only worn denim,

the light burning so warm and bright.

I see Aunt Jean who recently left us,

and Aunt Kay and Uncle Bill, too,

and my Dad and Grammy and Gramps,

all together again in the old house

on Purcell Street, getting ready for Church

or for a stroll down to the Zoo,

there are new exhibits there

of otters and alligators and red foxes.

And Gramps is complaining again about

the damn pigeons (“rats with wings”)

making noise and dirtying

the roof beneath the eves,

while Grammy proudly recites the books

of the Old Testament in order: Genesis,

Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy . . .

and Aunt Kay picks a bit of tobacco

from her Pall Mall off her tongue,

her lipstick is so red, so shiny red,

while cousin Linda is showing me again

how to dance to “Sally Go ‘Round The Roses.”

And my Father is still alive and telling

that story he always liked to tell

how his dog Buster saved his life that day

on Midland Beach way back

in the summer of 1942,

and everybody’s smiling,

everybody’s smiling.