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List Poem

January 9, 2010 by · 7 comments

Leatha Kendrick

Photo: koalazymonkey

Remember the milk (2%
of the time I forget.) Remember
             that Brown Swiss calf we brought
             home in the back seat of Daddy’s old
gray Dodge?

                          Remember to turn off the lights—
when you sleep, when you leave
             the house or a room. Remember
             the t.v. Mom never turned off?
             her last days in the wide blue
             recliner I boughtat Friendly
             Furniture on South Main?
                          Remember the Maine! We learned
                          in school. Where did it blow up?
                          Wasn’t it Cuba?

                                                    Remember to feed
the cat while I’m gone, and make sure
there’s water for her. Two bowls
             of water—she drinks a lot. Oceans and
             oceans, as Granma would say, and
             We’ve got all the time in the world. . .
             Remember that? And her so old already,
             so German with her hascie-pooey
             and her pusskins? Her button box
             at the foot of the basement steps?

to wipe your feet on the mat – mud!
             remember the mud we tracked in for months
             when we built the house and spring peepers
             hatched from long garlands of eggs
             in the marsh pools swelling the foot of the hill?
             How loud they sang that April long and how
                          I missed it! when, deeply dug, a drain
                          dried up eggchains, marsh-wet, songs.
all prisoners siphoned from home, in your
             prayers recall them. Remember the list
             of “God bless”es on summer nights,
             when Granma lay us down to sleep— bless
                          Mommy and Daddy, Chip and Johnny,
                          grandmas and grandpas – one already
                          in heaven – and Barney

                          our dog, in heaven, too – and
remember to pick up the cleaning, go by the library,
take back that book.
             It’s overdue.

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


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