After Diane Seuss
My mother’s straddled atop a hydrant, her legs draped over the shield of the iron tap each with its white ruffled sock. My eyes are in love with her as they are with all enchantments that cannot escape being con- jured. She’s there to be seen if I want to see her, as she was there in her floral butter- wick apron. I was sixteen and she asked if I would cook. “Do you want to learn to make sauce?” she asked. Was it the mother? The escape artist? My poor mother was deeded the imminent call. She doesn’t look like she’s leaving, whatever it was she was cooking up. She handed me a wood spoon. As I write this, a notification pops up on my lock screen, “VOICES Together: A Virtual Gathering of the 9/11 Community.” “Yes,” I said, “You can show me.” She said, “You have to brown the pork, add crushed tomatoes, paste, a bay leaf.” She washes the cans with Chianti. “A pinch of sugar.” Pepper, oregano, garlic, simmer, I don’t recall the metrics or if I secretly wanted to study history with Donald, but thought that “yes” was the only response, or if I believed I should want to tie on an apron, I think I assumed that my time with her could make my mother linger, and this lesson was all we had, as if I’m hedging some sort of investment in futures for what I wasn’t seeing then, and so, I lowered the heat, and simmered the sauce, hence this little girl, suspended, wheat-blonde waves poodled in pigtails, her playful eyes, who reminds me of my sister when she was eight, when mother received the news after a breakdown, it was metastatic breast cancer. Young, fiery, her long browned and shining hair falling to the sink. I didn’t want to see, and yet I saw. But the young girl, I am in love with her oversized denim culottes, the floppy, double rolled cuffs, the look over her crouching shoulder, and her glorious sparkle, angelic, poised as if she could leap through the lens, forth, forward, into the opening.
© 2022 by Deborah Garcia, All rights rserved
About this poem:
This ekphrastic poem is written as a homage to my late mother, Lizzie, on the occasion of her 79th birthday. The photo of my mother as a little girl resting on a fire hydrant in a leaping position, is one that I see every day. Framed, on an antiques wash stand in my home, it gives me great delight. The glance over her shoulder, staring through the lens feels like a charm, compelling me to leap into the opening of the day, despite not knowing the metrics.
Borrowing Diane Seuss’ composition style in “Still Life with Turkey,” in which she weaves a dark tale with the image of the classic painting by Chardin, I exercised this technique to weave a personal tale of reminiscence and lament, through the bending light.
Elizabeth Rieb née Teseny: September 22, 1943 – January 20, 1982
Photo credit: Personal archive. c. 1951 – Likely taken by my grandfahter, Gus (FKA Géza) Teseny, outside of their Manhattan apartment on East 90’s Street.
after Kerrin McCadden
my husband’s portrait is in a collage behind glass on a museum
wall of prayers his name is announced by the son who never spoke
it his smile is cast into homes of people we don’t know
his name echoes across a plaza where there used to be buildings
he’s a good dad who leaves his calling card in a kiosk
so we can find him I push two roses into the groove of his name
punched in a steel frame his sons lean over waters falling
into bedrock grit that’s spooned into a wood urn sitting on a shelf
behind the smoked glass of a cabinet that he built for his stereo
in his parent’s basement while waiting for a job interview in 1985.
I sign a custody document that has my husband’s name typed in Times
New Roman I call the medical examiner to claim his bones two messengers
in brown suits knock on my back door at 10 p.m. they tell
me about bones he left behind friends say they’re happy
that I have closure his nine-year old asks, who were those men, Mommy?
one rib is identified in February in May a portion of his scapula
matches the code in a Ziploc bag news bulletins report that
what remains is in a landfill with boxcutters and wristwatches his bones
are in a box with a Ziploc bag in a refrigerated trailer I’m invited for
a private viewing but I know he doesn’t want me picking at his bones
his son cries on his spelling list because the other dads know
how to pitch baseballs so their kids can hit them just right
he has a birthday party where he takes tennis lessons I bake a cake
halved with a tennis court and a baseball diamond punctuated by nine candles
and one for good luck his son returns from school and sleeps
on the couch clutching a Matchbox car in his fist he doesn’t blow
out the five candles on his ice cream cake we open Christmas presents
mailed to his brother’s home I tell his sons Daddy isn’t coming home
God needs him he has good sons who build a tower and helicopter of Legos
and drop lines to the figures on the roof and snap jetpacks to their backs.
he is missing and I think he’s trapped in a subway tunnel splicing
wires together to put out a signal we’re here because he’s the
New World Man I make copies of a photo of us at his twentieth high school
reunion hot glue them onto red posterboard duct tape
them to chain-link fences and glass transit shelters a Red
Cross volunteer hands me a pocket pack of facial tissues a water bottle
and an apple New York Crime Victim’s Board hands me a check
at a folding table so I can make a mortgage payment the medical examiner
clerk hands my husband’s friend a slip of paper with a P-number
I drop his toothbrush razor and comb into a Ziploc bag
he’s taught his eight-year-old how to send an email to his brother
in Vermont a plane hit the world trade center I hope my dad
is alrite his four-year old gets off the bus from his first day
of school carrying a drawing of four stick figures holding
hands “my family” I kneel on the floor screaming Run David Run
his parents to turn on their TV to witness his leaving I’m sipping
coffee at 9:03 a.m. I watch a passenger jet explode through
the south tower of the World Trade Center Big Bird stops singing
Good Morning Sun black smoke is billowing from an airplane-
shaped hole punched into the side of the World Trade Center
a passenger jet slices through floors 94-98 of tower one it’s the one
with an antenna on it I don’t remember which one his desk is in he’s
a good worker and hurries to his office instead of mailing
a disability policy he rides an elevator to the 97th floor I think
he’s listening to Return to Forever when his body explodes
into the fuselage of a 767 piloted by islamic extremists who rehearse
his murder in practice flights down the Hudson River where he motors
our boat to a lighthouse and jumps into the river to teach
his boys to ski the hijackers fly over the house where his mom prepares
his favorite soba noodles where he says, will you marry me?
our baby smiles as I snap his photo in the hinged doorway
of his first school bus ride he curls in a pink velvet armchair watching
Big Bird count to 100 by twos my husband rides the Long Island Railroad
to Penn Station he’s in a good mood because the train is
on time he runs up the street to the N64 bus and doesn’t
hear me shout I love you dear he helps our eight-year-old onto the bus
and says have a good day Davvie it’s morning the sky is blue
he hurries down the stairs and pours 2% milk into three bowls
of Cheerios he’s startled awake by the sun and verbally assaults
the clock commanding it’s late get my clothes out and pack sandwich meat in a Ziploc bag.
he’s restless and says I Love You thirteen times I ask what’s wrong
he tells me something feels strange I just want to hold you he’s synching
the to-do list and schedule from his Palm Pilot while the glue is drying
on the fractured parts of his son’s prized remote-control boat clamped on
a bench in the basement beside the Lego people waving flags forever
he takes a photo of his son holding a little league trophy
sand and tiny shells fill the pockets of his swim trunks he’s
a fun dad carrying his son on his shoulders into the tide
we go to a family barbeque he brings a toolbox to repair
a mailbox he walked into because he’s legally blind from the retinitis pigmentosa
he heard about when he wanted a learner’s permit he meets with our financial planner
and tells him we need a better disability policy and talks about
a will the babysitter is away he’s a good husband he changes
his work schedule to stay home with our boys on a September Tuesday
so I can begin a new phase of my career he takes the Hudson Line train
to his parents’ house where we meet for Labor Day weekend the boys
squeal over the edge of the bowrider he opens the throttle into the ebb
he packs a laptop duct tape and fishing poles in the caravan a photo
of us on a cabin porch in Maine with his parents and brother that
I glue-stick into a scrapbook collage and I slide into a page protector
About this poem:
This poem is a collage in prose of the present juxtaposed with the last four weeks of Dave's life. The informal structure sans punctuation paces the chaos and gives all of the weight to the legacy of the character and the loss.
© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved
The 21st Annual Remembrance Symposium presented by the VOICES CENTER FOR RESILIENCE, takes place at the Downtown Marriott Hotel in New York City. This FREE event is open to the public to attend live on September 9th and 10th, via live stream broadcast. Click the link https://voicescenter.org/events/remembrance-symposium/2022 to register now. A zoom link will be emailed to your inbox.
This year’s program is presented in partnership with the Leadership in Counter Terrorism Alumni Association (LinCT-AA) and the International Network Supporting Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence (INVICTM). The two-day event brings together distinguished professionals working in national security, law enforcement, victims’ services, mental health, compensation, and investigations in the aftermath of 9/11, as well as other international acts of mass violence.
September 11th, 2001 is more than a single tragic day that altered the lives of a countable number of people. It is a current event that is continuously claiming lives, advancing technologies to identify the more than 1,000 victims whose remains rest in a vault, and engaging families and survivors in hearings to identify and hold those accountable for the attacks. September 11th, 2001 altered how we travel, reshaped intelligence, counterterrorism practices and disaster response, and impacted forensics labs around the world.
Saturday, September 10th, I will be speaking in a moderated discussion panel in the first session, “VOICES Stories of Resilience,” scheduled for 9:15 – 10:15 AM. Victims’ family members, responders and survivors will share their stories – demonstrating the challenges they have faced and the strength and resilience that led to personal growth. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions for those attending both in-person and virtually.
Please, also join me and the 9/11 community Saturday morning, in a pre-recorded candle lighting ceremony, that will be played via Zoom at 9:00 AM, right before the the Stories For Resilience Program.
The sessions run from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Attendees are free to enter and exit sessions at will.
Wife of David Garcia, WTC North Tower, 97th Floor
I have gathered the roses, I have tucked the brown bottle in my purse, I have pocketed my mournful verse. Maybe you think love is snapshots glued on acid-free paper, bound in embellished vacation-themed scrapbooks I have put on my life vest, and climbed into the camp boat, facing the wilderness, and motored out into the sunset. I have crossed the still-water and leaned over the frame. I have emptied Into the Great Pond
© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved
About this poem
Our family has been vacationing the same week in August in the Belgrades, ME, since 1999. “This is the best place on Earth,” my boys always said. One year ago this week, my surviving son and I released some of my son’s ashes in the cove at his favorite fishing spot.
August 1, 2022: President Biden delivered a message, “Sunday, al-Queda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a successful counterterrorism operation.”
News outlets report:
“Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terror attacks in the United States, the Justice Department said.“https://abcnews.go.com/International/us-conducts-successful-operation-significant-al-qaeda-target/story?id=87721122&cid=social_twitter_abcn
Want to know how this family member reacts? Read on, otherwise, scroll by.
Let’s not forget that the effects of the attacks on American soil, 21-years ago, is still claiming victims with over 5,000 deaths of responders and others who have died from cancer-related illnesses. Thousands of American soldiers have and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation from the extremist activity that continues to threaten our safety since that wake-up call. New widows and family members appear in my Zoom support groups, as the numbers continue to rise. The attacks of that fated day are the unceasing human tragedy that spans across generations, perpetuated and funded by a nation that fuels our rides, mines corporate American portfolios, and strokes par in our golf-courses. A murderous force that continues to unfold in the present tense. None of us escape the fallout.
“Justice has been delivered.“Presiden Joe Biden, August 1, 2022
Has it? Is this “closure?” For whom? CLOSURE (Dictionary.com): “a bringing to an end; conclusion. The sense of psychological certainty or completeness.” Full Disclosure… NOT CLOSURE! This is not over! There is still more to come. So much yet to be done. We cannot sleep.
When Osama bin-Laden was extinguished in May, 2, 2011, nine-days before my late husband, David’s, 50th birthday, my phone buzzed, hungry for indemnification… “Congratulations. So happy for you? Can you have closure now?” Given reasonable latititude to the limits of human grief-speak, and sincere adoration for all of my family and friends, my response was then as it is now “Not Closed.” “Never Closed!” The love of my life is murdered, continuously, from a stage my sons can not not escape. An unyielding sadness my beautiful 27-year old boy, quelled, giving into the darkness, twenty-years later, exhausted .
President Biden, I feel gratitude for the intelligence and risks taken by our leaders and service men and women to hunt down and extinguish this monster. We can never forget. We will not lie down. However, this is not closed. We cannot forget. We will never cede the pursuit of “justice” until full disclosure occurs and atonement is made by the nations that conceal the truth. Then, perhaps, we can engage in a conversation of reconciliation and peaceful relations.
I will end with words captured in conversation with our six-year old:
Dylan – “Why can’t my Dad be here?
Mom – I don’t know, I think you should ask God that question when you get there.
D – How do we get to Heaven? I know, we take an airplane!
M – The souls of the people who love you, who are already in Heaven, come and get you.
D – So Daddy is an angel. I know we can’t see angels so that means Daddy is sitting next to me right now. Is Daddy sitting next to me mommy?
M – Maybe.
D – He is! (He’s sitting in Daddy’s chair at the dining table).
D – Why can’t God send him back to Earth again? Why can’t God just throw him down so I can see my Dad again? I’d rather kill the people that killed our Dad. I’d rather sue the person that killed our Dad. Even though it’s not just one person, it’s 100.”Dylan, May, 22, 2003
After Sharon Olds “I Go Back to May 1937”
I see them standing at the nuptial threshold before their witnesses
She sees her groom smiling
at the verge of the nacre vault
the gloam blue waves climax like glistening
strands of diamonds behind his profile, He
sees his bride with a stargazer lily in her hair
standing at the fringe made of sand and stone,
the horizon still obscured all around her, its
white haze aglow in the July air,
they are about to wed, they are about to build a life,
they are young, they are hopeful, all they know is they are
naive, they would never break their promise to love
and protect each other.
I want to raise my hand from the gallery and say Hold On,
--she's the prophetess of courage ,
he's the king of tears, you are going to endure things
you cannot see, and do things that will terrify you,
you are going to explode into the theatre of the world,
you are going to sacrifice the innocence of children,
you are going to suffer in ways you cannot think of,
he's going to die--she's going to want to die. I want to call
out to them there in the late July afternoon glow and cry it,
her ravenous blue eyes turning to me,
her pathetic beautiful animal body,
but I don't do it. I want them to live this
day, cup my hand around the unity candle, to
curb the wind from the flame. I
clutch their hands like bride and groom
cake dolls and cinch the knot that binds them
at the marrow, like the rigging of divine ships, as if to
secure the load of gold in the
hold of their vessels, I say
answer to the calling of the love that
brings you life, and she will write about it.
About this poem: July 25th, 2022 marks thte 35th wedding anniversary of David and I. We wed on the lip of a Long Island cove, former land of the Massapequa branch of the Algonquin people, on a hazy, hot and humid July afternoon. Although the style of this piece was borrowed, the inspiration was bubbling in the dorm room of my writing retreat in Beverly, MA. All of the sensory, emotional, and situational elements are my own. My love for David and the sons we carried into the world is the legacy I have been assigned to carry and the gold I must share.
©: Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved
For someone who dreads the holiday, treading by mothers and offspring laughing together along the mountain path, young families testing each other’s flavors of frozen custard, and having a similar-aged bubbly stranger feeling sexy in her new dress, arm-locked with her partner to their dinner reservation, stop dead in front of me to exclaim, “Happy Mother’s Day!” as I walk out with my takeout bag, here is my Mother’s Day post.
This past week has been a trifecta of heavy life-events, each of which warrant a story of their own. Sunday May 8, I spent the fairest day of the year thus far, with my 11-year-old best girl, my Border Collie, Joni. We hiked our favorite Vermont paths, lapped-up maple creemies at Palmer Lane, chased balls, spun and leapt into the blue for Frisbees, and splashed in the Brown’s River. Monday morning, I cradled her beautiful 43-pound body in my arms, tearfully kissing her goodbye as she took her last breath. I’m grateful for the grace of the beautiful times we had and, I’m heartbroken. Wednesday was my late husband David’s 61st birthday. 21-years after his little boys joined him in blowing out the candles of the last cake I iced “Happy Birthday Daddy.” Thursday, I closed on our home in Long Island, New York, where our 24- and 26-year-old former selves built and lived-out our dreams from 1988-2001.
This is for the motherless daughter, the grieving mother, the mourning widow and divorcee, the mothers who wait by the phone, and the women who were birthed but not birthers, whether by misfortune or choosing. All but the latter which wears as hammered metal distress on my animal body ,on any day, particularly on the second Sunday of May. Despite the uncountable circumstances that shape our womanhood, and the fallacies we vex ourselves with, we are all of mothers in common.
If there’s one thing that my obsessive passion in ancestry research has shown me it’s that every mother’s passage within and through generations is difficult. From the moment the cosmic explosion of cells forms tailless spines and fingernails, we all survive by blind will, make choices with fraudulent insurance, and eat sugar when the milk turns sour.
When I sat down two weeks ago to write this year’s “Mother’s Day” post, I didn’t want to re-write my wistful, and complex, motherly-daughterly story, nor gift-wrap some sage log of aromatic smoke to shade the lines with positivity, too noxious for my own amenability. So I defaulted to my palliative list-making decompression tool by opening my family tree in pedigree view and made a vertical list of the mothers who came before the mothers, unto a continuous unfolding of maiden signatures, fanning horizontally beyond the margins in expanding binary sequence. (This would make my late IT programmer husband very happy with me.)
Wow, so many mothers labored, nursed, washed, threaded, crossed boundaries and oceans. They survived long enough to birth sons and daughters to be re-born, again and again into daughters they’ll never name. How a single cell waits quivering in the vessel cradled in a female ovary, the moment she’s born, again, and again. Until I am in the World, naming them. We are fertile versions of one another, arising from something familiar, opening to a forthcoming, like nesting dolls. Within each of us there is an indirect knowing. We are a suggestion. A run-on sentence. An ongoing conversation that is transcribed as the strands that encode us unwind and replicate.
About this poem: This poem is the result of seven years of ancestry research culminating in the form of a List Poem. As I generated the list of my direct-line maternal lineage on both maternal and paternal sides, a pattern in the shape of a helix emerged. The names of my mothers are framed by Great-Grandmother Generation (i.e., 2x, 3x…), thirteen in all, and birth-year. In this work, I’m descended from 15 generations of women. Though 163 of my foremothers are named to date, 16,384 Great-Grandmothers have birthed thirteen generations of women over a span of 439-years so that my signature joins the linkage.
MOTHERLINK MOTHER'S Maternal Mothers – My Mother: Elizabeth Anna (Manhattan, NYC) – 1943 HAJDU: (Romania / Hungary) GM - Karolina “Anna” -1904 G-GM - Julia Major – 1880 Maternal Grandfather’s Mothers: TESENY / TESENYI: (Lastovce & Zemplin Hungary / Trebisŏv, Slovakia) G-GM - Julianna - 1883 2x - Maria - 1855 3x – (Anna – 1844) 4x - Mária - 1795 5x - Ersébet – abt. 1770 3x Veronica - 1835 Father’s Maternal Mothers – My paternal grandmother: Eleanor Elizabeth (Bronx, NYC) - 1915 EYNON: (Gloucestershire, England) * G-GM – Louis “Lulu” - 1883 ** 2x Anna Maria - 1845 3x - Anne – 1818 4x - Sarah – 1783 5x - Sarah – 1758 6x – Sara – abt. 1735 6x - Elizabeth - abt. 1730 5x - Sarah – 1753 4x - Mary – 1787 5x - Sarah – 1748 6x - Elizabeth – 1720 6x - Ann – 1712 7x - Anna – 1691 8x - Mary – 1664 9x - Mary – 1638 10x - Frances – 1613 11x - Margery – 1595 8x – Maria “Mary” - 1650 10x - Isobel – 1579 11x - Margaret Ann - 1562 5x - Sarah – 1754 6x - Elizabeth Alice– 1729 7x - Alice – 1709 7x – Sarah - 1675 8x - Margrett – 1641 9x - Joseyas – 1605 10x - Susanna – 1557 11x - Elizabeth – 1528 11x - Elizabeth – 1524 10x - Elizabeth – 1585 11x - Margery – 1560 LOHSE: (Germany) * G-GM - Louise “Lulu” – 1883 ** 2x - Anna Maria - 1845 3x - Elisabeth - 1820 4x – Christina – abt. 1798 4x - Anna Maria - 1794 5x - Anne Marie – abt. 177 6x - Eva - 1728 7x - Anna Maria - 1701 8x - Anna Maria – abt. 1680 8x - Anna Maria – abt. 1679 9x - Anna Maria – abt. 1655 3x - Henriette Sophie Caroline - 1815 4x - Henriette Wilhelmine - 1795 4x - Louise Catherine - 1769 5x - Barbara – 1775 PRICE: (England & Wales) 2x - Elizabeth – 1855 3x - Elizabeth “Betsy” – 1828 4x - Catherine – 1800 5x - Sarah – 1774 6x - Barbara – 1749 7x - Frances - 1729 6x - Jane - 1750 5x - Rebekah – 1764 6x - Elizabeth – 1736 7x - Elizabeth – abt. 1716 9x - Mary – 1685 3x - Margaret Bridget – 1801 4x - Elizabeth – 1779 5x - Elizabeth – 1750 6x - Margery – 1726 7x - Elizabeth – 1700 7x - Hannah – 1700 7x - Dorothy – 1708 8x - Sarah – 1680 9x - Elizabeth - 1650 5x - Hannah – 1725 6x - Hester – 1700 7x - Anne – 1675 8x – Lady Margaret - 1591 10x – Lady Bridget – 1550 11x – Lady Bridget - 1524 8x - Sarah – 1635 9x - Mary – 1594 10x - Lady Joan – 1578 5x - Anne - 1769 Father’s Paternal Mothers: PFLUM: (Germany / Ireland) G-GM - Ethel – 1889 2x - Mary – 1867 3x - Bridget – 1835 3x – Catherine Dorothea – 1823 4x – Margaretha – abt. 1800 4x – Maria – abt. 1817 4x – Maria Katharina – 1786 5x – Apollonia – 1741 6x – Anna Catharina – abt. 1720 6x – Anna Maria – 1728 7x – Anna Maria – 1688 8x – Anna Ottilla – 1655 9x – Anna - 1623 9x – Anna Maria – 1617 10x – Margaretha – abt. 1597 11x – Anna – abt. 1570 11x – Margaretha – abt. 1560 12x – Barbara – 1538 13x - Maria Barbara - 1530 12x – Martha - 1539 10x – Maria - 1567 8x – Maria – 1665 9x – Anna Maria – 1628 10x – Catharina – 1605 11x – Maria – 1570 12x – Zephia – 1522 8x – Maria – 1627 9x – Anna – 1592 10x – Margaretha – 1571 8x – Anna – abt. 1600 5x – Anna – 1764 6x – Margaretha – 1731 7x – Anna – 1671 8x – Anna 1631 9x – Maria - 1608 8x – Barbara – 1635 9x – Eva – abt. 1592 10x – Anna - 1549 FARRELL: (Ireland) 2x G-GM – Mary Ann – 1867 3x – Julia - 1837 4x – Elizabeth – 1801 5x – Julian – 1775 4x – Sarah – 1805 5x – Mary – 1780 MESSNER: (Germany) 4x – Eva Elisabetha – 1817 5x – Catharina Elisabetha – 1789 6x – Catherina - 1765 7x – Louisa/Lovisa – 1745 7x – Maria Magdelina – 1740 5x – Anna Eva – 1755 6x – Anna Maria Dorothea – 1746 7x – Anna Maria - 1720 5x – Anna Barbara – 1769 6x – Maria Catharina – 1740 7x – Maria Katharina – 1710 8x – Anna Eva – 1684 9x – Eva - 1655 9x – Anna Margaretha – 1650 9x – Anna - 1665 8x – Lucia – 1688 7x – Maria Barbara - 1708 6x – Maria Elisabetha – 1719 7x – Maria Eva – 1687 7x – Maria Katharina – 1680 8x – Margaretha – 1625 9x - Margaretha – 1604 10x – Margaretha – 1577 11x – Barbara Elizabeth - 1570 8x – Margaretha – 1660 8x – Veronica – 1649 9x – Veronica - 1615 9x – Veronika – 1626 10x – Veronika N. – 1604 10x – Catharina – 1604 11x – Appollonia – 1580 11x – Catharina – 1559 4x – Johanna “Joanna” – abt. 1804
Also the auxiliary mother-figures who enhance my life experience; my lovely God-Mother, Carol. And my mother from a lover, Hiro.
Also my sisters, aunts, cousins, and nieces who have enriched the texture of my life.
© Deborah Garcia 2022. All rights reserved.
His sound is a hidden train set in the attic: cadent, absolute, always vernal. The seabirds laughing above the lip of their tourmaline sea, the shimmering keys of Ravel's Ondine, the Mystic Blue Beemer whirring up the way with littlenecks and cream chattering in their paper sack, the pop pop popping of balls on the Open Blue, shedding their coats of baize, the click click clicking of interlocking bricks, building worlds on the painted plank, the fans forever waving their stiff flags at the trains that always return home.
ABOUT THIS POEM:
Davin had “Perfect Pitch,” imitating musical scores, the sounds of laughing gulls & trains for extended periods before he formed words, transcending into musical compositions through adulthood. He loved his trains, Legos, fishing, tennis, his BMW, and perfecting his Clam Chowder recipe. Continuing our tradition of handmade cards with personalized sentiments, this birthday card is my 29th gift to my beautiful boy, whose sounds are unfading.
Art: Deborah Garcia, acrylic on stock. April, 2022
© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved
My darlings have departed who embodied
the fiber the pith of my secret self,
the vertebral steel when
the world folded into the landscape.
My darlings who knew me as I knew them
their bodies burnt to ash ribs pulverized to grit
if I enter the vault behind Virgil’s maxim
will I collect fragments of my marrow resting in the chambers?
I’m alive. For what?
Neither childhood nor future grows...
Excess of being wells up in my heart!
My darlings—without whom I’d not qualify to enter—are stardust.
© Deborah Garcia 2020, All rights reserved
ABOUT THIS POEM
Written this morning, this poem is the fifth of a 365-day project I began on 2/17/2022. I’m committing myself to learning the craft of poetry by writing a poem-a-day in response to daily prompts received in my inbox every morning. Today’s prompt was “My Dead Friends,”–Marie Howe. Though my plans neither include completing nor posting my daily writings, I felt compelled to post this exercise after looking at today’s date: 2/22/2022. It’s theorized that the number two symbolizes balance, duality, and harmony, A unifying energy about finding a power between opposing forces.
This poem is about Elizabeth Rieb, David Garcia, Davin Garcia, and Daniel Burgess: Beloved souls in my spirit circle whose titles are Mother, Husband, Son, Friend. The italicized lines are from the ninth elegy of the Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke. The last lines read: “See I live. On what? Neither childhood nor future grows less… Excess of being wells up in my heart.”