Memories (or a Million)

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 22:52 -- etee

I remember:

there was a day a sparrow fell

from the sky and landed

at my feet.


“Dead” my mother announced,

pulling me closer

and I looked up at her as if toward a building

from the ground.


Her face eclipsed the sun.

My hand was small in hers.

“Don’t touch it” she said.


I didn’t have to.

It had fallen from inside me.

I looked back only once.


I knew I would remember.

I could not forget

(though it was gone,

I had it with me).


I remember:

My grandmother has many children

Not just her own, for she has raised

countless others

so I have many, many cousins


as I grow

in a cozy little apartment

with frayed couches

and chicken pepper pasta

play checkers with chess pieces

(and she tells me I can’t just cheat and go back a turn

just because I’m losing

but she lets me do it anyway).


sometimes her children visit

and I think about how large she has made her family

how gentle hands and a soft voice

can create a entire world

how just the memory

creates this world for me.


When there is nothing else,

this I will always have.

This I will always remember.


I remember:

A long time ago,

you told me the story

of how you got that scar on your cheek.


I remember

your voice grew low

and your tone solemn and somber

your eyes dropped

and your reluctant gaze peeked out

from behind dark eyelashes

to tell a tale

from deep within yourself.


It was a grave story

personal and delicate

and painful for you

to take a piece of it

to hand it to someone else.


Though you are gone,

This piece I have always.


These are pieces of others

Pieces of me


that I carry.


These and a million more:

If they are all I have,

They are all I need.

This poem is about: 
My family


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