Friday, July 21, 2017

July 21: Resurrection, Beverly Matherne, "For Albert"

Another long day.  Thank goodness that the weekend is upon us.  I may actually take a nap tomorrow.  Still trying to recover from last weekend's activities.  Wedding and birthday party and poetry reading and wedding reception.  All in one day.

It seems nowadays that the only time families really come together are weddings and funerals.  Love and death.  The last time all my brothers and sisters were home was for my sister's funeral.  And, as is the custom at most funerals, we sat and stood around, telling stories about my sister.  And those stories somehow seemed to make sense.  They brought my sister back to life, if only for a few short minutes.

That's what poetry can do, too.  Resurrect things long gone.

Saint Marty is ready for a little resurrection tonight.

For Albert

by:  Beverly Matherne

You think I am bones boxed
in a mausoleum in a California desert.
But I am alive in the rattlesnake
under the tobacco leaf,
the combine in the cane fields,
the hot sax on Bourbon.
I am alive in green lawns and fuchsia,
salmon facades, bay windows, and decks
in the summer heat and las calles de la Jolla.
I am alive in my daughter's dark complexion,
my son's lean chest, and
their mother's memory
of the first time she saw me.

I am alive in bodies covered
with melanoma the size of green peas,
bodies too emaciated,
too sedated, to tell the difference
between hallucinations and day.
When you think
you have forgotten my face,
I will come to you in a dream.
When you think
you have forgotten my voice,
I will speak to you.
Because I am alive,
I am alive.

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