I stumbled across this in my drafts. In memory of Renee Apple.
Memories from Home
“…Here is a story. The sky hums, some dragonflies
pause over their shadows and dart off.
An awkward moment comes when you say, This is
my life. Earnestly, without regret.”
-Tom Andrews, The Hemophiliac’s Motorcycle.
I can remember the last visit to your house, on that Saturday afternoon.
You didn’t hear me, but I could hear you and Carol talking in the bedroom.
I stood in the living room with the boxes.
We followed the others up the hillside,
flowing like ants across the grass
seeking the cool shade under the tall tree.
Next to some of the boxes were picture frames, stacked neatly next to the walls. Some of the picture frames held paintings that Joan did a long time ago. If you look at it just right, you can feel the brush strokes.
Drums swallow the stillness around us,
as they started entering the circle, glowing with
pride and whooping as they come.
In one of the boxes were some knickknacks from a happier time; a stuffed shark from Cincinnati, and pictures that you took with your camera. You were always careful to chronicle the important times.
Alive with color, the first dancer entered the circle
full of color, as the bells on her dress jingled as she
moved, with her dark hair flowing over her shoulder.
I stand over the place where the couch used to be, remembering how you would laugh with Annika, while her salt and pepper colored dog nuzzled against your feet. If I look real close, I can still see the indention in the carpet where the couch was.
The woman merged with the other dancers,
wearing deerskin, wearing feathers, carrying staffs with
talons and other sacred artifacts.
I can see your green Honda Civic from the living room window. It looked like it was ready to go somewhere, just waiting for you to come out and get inside. It was eager to make the drive to St Louis.
High above the Mohigan, even the birds danced in circles
keeping time with the drum and the dancers below,
as if they were connected.
Before I left the house, I found an old picture of you on the floor. It was a picture from Amelia’s wedding. The photo might be torn, but the memory remains.