for Mollie R, mother to David, Daniel, and Jane R.
grandmother to Adam and Kayla R.
great-grandmother to Kayla's BumpusMcGumpus
At Mollie's funeral
-which she never wanted-
-after the death she wanted-
-a microphone for stories -
(ahem)beaten so badly at sixteen, just for sass,
refused to speak to her fatherbeater for ten years,
married a good man, strict, but no knuckles for the kids
He died, which she never wanted,
followed by a funeral, the boys rocking in their chairs,
a little stoned
(oh, here's a good one) at 50, hitchhiked in France with her daughter
("Don't tell them I'm your mother"),
(i'm the neighbor who moved away)
always kept her sons so active they had 2 naps a day,
i said, Mollie, how'd you do it?
David's little head on his kindergarten desk
Daniel's little head on his kindergarten desk
There's more than one story, one storied arch,
more story than buildings an arc of a storehouse
more bildung than roman and no trips to Italy,
the homes in Arizona nary a stair.
There's a tear in this bucket, she'd often say,
Fuckit, & cackle
side seam unsealed, turds dropt
lumped carpet, slack blinds grey with oily dust,
no gondolas through Venice, not even a false memory,
no candlelight convalescent home,
more shade in the Phoenix sun,
more scent than less,
she wasn't conned into this
She gave every child her full attention,
Mollie held the microphone to her head,
repeated their every phrase, twice, three times,
until all conversation was in her ledgerdebrain
She'd be here, she'd be,
if she could, a little stoned.
She'd know you were.
Her father's ghost smashing teeth to tongue.
Mollie would direct to her chair,
her turd-dry chair