Mahwah, New Jersey

We stabbed holes in tin lids to keep our glass-jarred lightening bugs breathing.
Now grown, my cousins and I carry a redwood box with Dad’s burnt-down bones.

Wind echoing in the chimney, a drained maple leaf;
the leaf in azure pottery on a table by itself.

Rain raises blisters on the lake and all afternoon tints the water gray.
This is not a simple story.

Stone steps up a back porch, shelter from the storm.
Rain down the window panes. So many places. What house was that?

Isn’t the magnolia tree exquisite? my great-grandmother often asked.
Since childhood, I’ve held her memory in a magenta heart of white petals.

Every life I’ve lived, I’ve lived fresh, collecting love,
yet, many have disappeared behind strange doors.

Chipped, chiseled, the name Sidman shines on a polished stone.
My children with different names will not be buried in this unfamiliar home.

Published ReImaging, Edited by Nancy J. Bemeking, Issue 33, November, 2002, Minneapolis, MN