We were driving from one state to another, one house
to a new one—
my father already there,
working, waiting for us,
and we'd been singing hymns against sleep,
soaring with our joy at passing on
where all our loss would turn to gain,
would heal, and in the silence
between one song and the choosing of the next
my mother said
on the day her father died
knew before the phone had rung,
he'd come to harm. "Come to harm," she said
as if Death had
enticed him. As if
he had returned to drinking and run off
hootchie-cootchie girl, Death's
My hair prickled. True tales
of the supernatural!
How could I tell this story to new friends,
and make them shudder. Or failing that,
how could I make them laugh, moving—flipped penny—
"There's a world beyond this world"
to "My mother is a silly woman"—and back again.
We sang all night.
She told her sacred story.
I slept. She drove. She died. I wept. We laughed.
I understand her story isn't mine.
be another world. There will
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