SPACE/TIME NON-CONTINUUM

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SPACE/TIME NON-CONTINUUM

  • This cannot be Dunkirk.
  • Dunkirk is where stukas strafe
  • the beach and water as Tommies
  • wade out to the trawlors and yawls
  • that have come cross channel to take them home.
  • There cannot be changing cabanas
  • and soft drink vendors at Dunkirk.
  • Arbeit macht frei is still above the gate
  • as we are urged onward not by SS officers
  • or sondercommandos - by tour guides.
  • We are actually free to turn and stroll away
  • back to room service and down comforters
  • and to our tickets home. In this time
  • a trip to this place does not end in an oven.
  • Reach through the decades. Pull them into now.
  • Here Reggie, have a beach towel and a citron pressé.
  • Samuel, Rachel, walk away from this place where
  • you did not die. Live to meet your grandchildren.
  • The Management apologizes for the mistake.
  • You were not supposed to be in this water
  • on this ground, in those most regrettable moments.
  • We hope there are no hard feelings and look forward
  • to doing business with you at your earliest convenience.

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Just days ago the calloused feet,

unlike the hands, free of tubes,

moved weakly to the echoes

of a schottische playing across time.

Tonight generations circle the open casket,

the lipsticked face letting them know

they are no longer orbiting Mama.

She has left me a chocolate pot

and a pattern I will not use

for a life of laundry and devotion

though I will try, and fail, to

duplicate her cauliflower crisps.

"This is what happens to old people"

says her eldest great grandchild,

my sanguine son, all of nine.

And he is right. A good woman

has left the world, much in years,

descendants, memories.

Leaving the viewing room, a door

opens on another death, the kind

that does not happen to old people.

Winter-coated, a man and woman

arch over a flag-draped closed coffin,

their heads almost touching,

damp grief conjoining over whatever

may be left of a young Marine.

Semper fi say the gladiolas that will,

in hours,...

more
TWOCOFFINS.png

Add an item ›

Just days ago the calloused feet,

unlike the hands, free of tubes,

moved weakly to the echoes

of a schottische playing across time.

Tonight generations circle the open casket,

the lipsticked face letting them know

they are no longer orbiting Mama.

She has left me a chocolate pot

and a pattern I will not use

for a life of laundry and devotion

though I will try, and fail, to

duplicate her cauliflower crisps.

"This is what happens to old people"

says her eldest great grandchild,

my sanguine son, all of nine.

And he is right. A good woman

has left the world, much in years,

descendants, memories.

Leaving the viewing room, a door

opens on another death, the kind

that does not happen to old people.

Winter-coated, a man and woman

arch over a flag-draped closed coffin,

their heads almost touching,

damp grief conjoining over whatever

may be left of a young Marine.

Semper fi say the gladiolas that will,

in hours,...

more