Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



Dreaming the Dead

My best friend Patrick
came to visit me
the night
mumps had taken him away.
I didn't understand the dream
until Billy
announced it on the playground
other kids calling him a liar
but I knew

Then Lee,
still in his drunken stupor
two weeks after he careened
into the house at the end of Coomer Rd.
his football helmet rolling across the floor
winter never leaving that corner
every time I passed by

Professor Harvenstein
who I didn't even know
hanging upside down
on the fence
of the 405 freeway
shaking me awake
"tell Arthur, tell Jaime
it's in the bowl"
I timidly told the Chair
the message seemed so urgent
He apologized later for his anger
learning it was true

Grandpa Frank
three thousand miles away
came night after night
said nothing
we sat on the couch watching
birds outside the window
him adjusting the strap on his
prosthetic leg
I would have thought
he wouldn't need it anymore

Auntie Ione
in broad daylight
tore the cross off the mirror
and threw it in the street
I laughed so hard
I cried
She said she would give a sign

my best friend in the whole world
surprised me
walking arm in arm with Elvis
in his white suit
happier than I'd ever seen her
now that he was more than
a poster on her wall

Dad, in that red flannel shirt
from the 1970's
walking down the hall
of the nursing home
where Mom grieved
He smiled, young again
hugging me
all those engineering instruments
sticking out his pocket
as always
I only saw him that one time

Until the weeks after Mom died.
Grandpa and Dad
stood in the doorway of her room
Me, confused
"She hasn't figured out yet
she's free to go"

and those ancestors
only learning who they were
through the Tioga County
Historical Museum
their pictures hanging on the wall

But, My Darling Keli
the one who owned
the rhythm of my heart
taking with her
a piece of my soul


  1. Ah, the visits from loved ones gone. They are gifts for sure...LOVE "I would have thought, he wouldn't need it anymore" and the mix of grief and gentle humor!

  2. Thank you, Jen. It's true. I guess wearing the blasted thing for 70 years he grew attached to it. :-)

  3. Love the poem! One night, about five months after my dad passed away I had a dream that he called me on the phone in the house that I grew up in. He said "Is your mom there?" I told him,"Yes, but she is in the shower?" Then he said,"Ok, I will see you in a month." I woke up from the dream in a panic wondering just exactly what he meant by "I will see you in a month". After I calmed down I realized that it was September 27 one month away from my birthday. So, I waited a month. On my birthday, I was working at a daycare and cleaning up the snack the kids had when a song came on the radio...one that he love called "Little Red Riding Hood". He had some friends that used to sing it for him at a restaurant we used to eat at all the time.
    I haven't heard his voice since then...I think because he scared me so bad...but now, I wish I hadn't reacted the way I did because I wonder if I hadn't if he would have talked to me again. Does that make any sense? The phone call was just so real, it was like he was standing by my bed whispering in my ear.


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