My eyes began to glaze over.
I’d stared dumbly. Except for
the spirited part–when Harold
said my mom, Rose, had died two
days after my twelve birthday.
It was lockjaw that killed her.
On his birthday he’d returned
from school, to a new football
and a jigsaw puzzle from mom.
Guess that’s why Harold played
football till a leg injury ended
his sport. He became arthritic.
A book of crossword puzzles
to dither away his old age
as slowly as ever–odd but
his own way of remembering–no
need to be sage for figuring out,
retrieving the irretrievable.
So I read that Tommy Page died. Apparently suicide at age 46. I’d been listening to his cheesy love songs. Hey I’ve nothing against cheesy love songs. Maybe it’s even a secret pleasure? His hits are “I’ll Be Your Everything”, “Paintings On My Mind”, “A Shoulder To Cry On”, among others. On a different note, I also read a poem by Elizabeth Bishop called “Insomnia”.
The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she’s a daytime sleeper.
By the Universe deserted,
she’d tell it to go to hell,
and she’d find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well
into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.
In your poem write about remembering and like the moon, “find a body of water, or a mirror, on which to dwell.”