Friday, February 12, 2010

Homecoming (Poem)


for Al

Two hundred people
make a place

Where you start out.

When you don't come
from somewhere else

Dirt and rock can be enough.


Yesterday, you
went home, you said.

You kicked up clumps
when no one looked, imagining
the lying-in neat-like, cared for

You beside your wife

Your and her remains
together mixed with family gone
there now
and yet to come.


A cousin's funeral took you back,
you said. She was 90

And suffered her dementia.


A plot of family land
makes place

For peace of mind.

Untidied stones calling out
parents      aunts and
uncles   cousins     husbands
and their loved ones

Count for more than memories

Of who they were
when you stood young.


To be buried on the land 
is to trace the lines of one
to still another

Relate the sister to the brother,
the 12 on her side

A number on your own indivisible.


A century can make or 
break a place, build it up or

Level it.

Who's gone can't hold together
what love leaves out   brings in   lets go.


A place can get a hold of you, or not

Mince the sadness   refigure grief
weed out goodbyes    fill in
the family circle.

I'll take my place, you said I'm thankful.

Copyright © 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.


Kathleen said...

If you would honor me with the story? Even a little, to fill in the lines?
Blank spaces. This emotes....

sarah said...

So great. I especially love the first lines - absolutely perfect.

Anonymous said...

i like it.
place can do that.

marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

M.L. Gallagher said...

What a beautiful poem.

What a beautiful gift to your friend, a reflection of your beauty.

Greyscale Territory said...

Love how you explore the role of place as a kind of go-between, even a mincer of sadness (love that image!) Enigmatic stroll through a highway littered with sidestreets! Beautiful!

Lorrie said...

Wow, so beautiful. Love these words especially..

...Of who they were
when you stood young.

Erin said...

This is amazing. I'm with Kathleen and would love to hear the story.

Nitewrit said...

That was beautiful and very moving.


Laura said...

It makes me feel my mortality. I'm thinking of churned up dirt. Of voices silent. Yes, homesick.

Nancy Goranson said...

Has a spareness that is elegant. Emotional tone for me was somber and reflective.