invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

father’s day June 18, 2006

Filed under: family — clementine @ 7:41 pm
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i think of
you raking, piles of leaves
all orange, crisp and brown
a dollhouse, hammering away for many nights
santa and his sleigh in the yard
bright christmas lights
too many presents under the tree
your farm set was enough for me
bert and ernie on the tv
while inside with chickenpox, stuck
a buckeye in your pocket for good luck

i think of
snowmobiles and drifts of snow
steak subs and pizza dough
walks in the woods
those damn tree limbs
(it’s time to move kids!)
crackerjacks and chocolate wafers
soccer balls and tether ball poles
campfires, tents and smores
ouch! those stupid mole holes

i think of
that coal pail you carried, walking with a strut
hey, your boots made the final cut!
a fake moustache applied
no, you can’t have dialogue, nice try!
sweeping in a scene, with a broom
no, you can’t have a honeywagon room!
watching dolly sing in nashville
a prison guard walking on a grassy hill
a businessman at the courthouse
in a small kentucky town
and you did it all, just to see me
you, so happy and proud

i think of
your small mouth, just like mine
the way you look at us
love in your eyes, all the time
a warm smile
an even warmer heart
your unconditional love
a family not torn apart

please know, beneath it all
i am strong, thanks to you
you worry too much
i know this to be true
but please stop (or at least, not so much)
i want you here thirty,
even forty years from now
i’ll take forever if you’ll allow
you think you were hardly there
dad,
you were always there

 

sis May 23, 2006

Filed under: family — clementine @ 7:37 pm
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dana
she is my sister
my only sibling
as children
we watched cartoons
eating cereal
from a large yellow tupperware bowl
pitfall and frogger
soccer and basketball
hide and go seek
sleeping under the stars
crying one cold winter day when
misty, our beagle, died
soon the darkness hit me
consumed me
and i lost my sister
for she needed only light
and was afraid of the dark
of me
she was the strong one
i was weak
she went onto college
i spent my days fighting my demons
and then
suddenly
a phone call
your sister is sick
a rare virus
silence
complete silence
no words
and i dive
into
research
i need to know what this is
i read of deaths
and then the surgeries began
to nashville we would travel
to the doctor of bill clinton
and the late johnny cash
he says
there is no cure
twenty surgeries,
the first two years
remission
and then it returned
remission
and then back again
she is still strong
remission
another phone call,
while in memphis
this time researching for actors
she says
i am pregnant with twins
another phone call
she says
i miscarried
i am so sorry dana
i cannot cry
i am numb
thanks to the meds
the virus is back
she is now weak
i wait in the room
it is a room i know very well
waiting for her doctor
to tell me and her frightened husband
she made it through
i hear
there was a seizure
but she is ok
i see her
her face, lacking color
her body, frail
and yet again,
i cannot cry
i am still numb
those damn meds
remission
another phone call
she says
i am pregnant
early august 2004
a girl
cecilia rose
but still no tears
two years later and over fifty surgeries
my sister
she is beautiful
she is once again strong
there are still surgeries
and i am still there
with her
she is no longer afraid of my darkness
for now she knows it well
and today,
i cry