Monday, July 14, 2008

Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World by Sherman Alexie

This was the poem of the week on another blog a while ago. Fuck, I just realized that I hope I didn't post this before. Oh, well. If I did, then you should all read it again because that's how fucking amazing it is and how much it speaks to me. I have tons of moments like this with my Grandfather now. There are more moments like this the longer he's been gone, I guess because we tend to forget and then we remember that we've forgotten and we feel kinda terrible. But I guess at least we are remember that we've forgotten rather than never remembering at all. And I hope that Ms. Kee sees this because 1)because of her father and 2) because it's by the writer of The Art of Fancy Dancing.

Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World
by Sherman Alexie

The eyes open to a blue telephone
In the bathroom of this five-star hotel.

I wonder whom I should call? A plumber,
Proctologist, urologist, or priest?

Who is most among us and most deserves
The first call? I choose my father because

He's astounded by bathroom telephones.
I dial home. My mother answers. "Hey, Ma,

I say, "Can I talk to Poppa?" She gasps,
And then I remember that my father

Has been dead for nearly a year. "Shit, Mom,"I say.
"I forgot he’s dead. I’m sorry—

How did I forget?" "It’s okay," she says.
"I made him a cup of instant coffee

This morning and left it on the table—
Like I have for, what, twenty-seven years—

And I didn't realize my mistake
Until this afternoon." My mother laughs

At the angels who wait for us to pause
During the most ordinary of days

And sing our praise to forgetfulness
Before they slap our souls with their cold wings.

Those angels burden and unbalance us.
Those fucking angels ride us piggyback.

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