Living Room

1 March 2018

(The living room seemed to be where
no living ever actually occurred.

– Alice Sebold)

Voices were kept in domestic quiet

Until the last decade claimed three.
Father: someone pushed his chair
In a town’s grievance center.
He fell face first, lips now cleft
Got orphaned by pipe and cigar.

Brother and mother: civilians in red
Plated van pelted our home with stones,
Destroying jalousies, music players,
Vases, kitchenware, and later them,
Scaring what else the house kept.

Ripening sentiments gave way
To their own gradual wastage.
Postponing their appointed time required
My attempts of the repair man’s and stone
And glass cutter’s excellent finish.

To unload keepsakes needed more than
Just any human skill, craft or trick.
Better borrow the kitten’s purr or pigeon’s coo,
Maybe the parakeet’s mimicry–-
They can temper compelling memories.

Their seeking for lost years–-like echoes
In search of geckos–-is reiterative as day:
Father’s smoke invading the nostrils;
Brother’s march songs advancing; scents
From mother’s trumpet flowers pervading;

Her teakettle’s whistling now my own.

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