summer remembering

tia laughing near the clotheslines

half her face was smile

her skin dark on thin limbs

black hair sprinkled with flyaway grays

the smell of grass and honeysuckle

already smoked pot

already drunk beer

warm sunshine everywhere

June bugs buzzing

the water in the ditch trickling past

birds singing

kids crossing the highway to get

peanuts poured into glass coke bottles

salty and sweet

crossing the highway together

to get back to the house

where the knife cut the door

duck tape hiding the gashes

no one speaking of it then

everyone lived quiet

listening to the water trickling

birds singing

June bugs buzzing

escribí esto para mi tío – July 2021

The elders are going
One by one they take their leave
last breathes
Or whispered goodbyes
Sometimes without any words at all

Thin tall frames
Short lumpy ones too
Heads full with memories and songs
Ever varying shades of gray

They’ve gathered all their days
In a white cloth made of cotton
And tied them to a stick
With a string
And thrown them over shoulders

Waving off the June bugs
Dipping head and shoulders beneath the willows sway
Whistling or humming or singing as they walk off into the deep green

Or into the dessert beige
Beneath blues and reds and pinks
Mountain ranges wave as they pass
Sometimes silent as they go
Or with wide smiles and laughter recalled

I’ll not forget, I pray
The way you laughed
The rhythmic way you walked
Never

The breeze rises slow and strong
lifting dust from earth
gently falling down
Like the tears we weep at your leaving
I try but no thing makes your leaving less like your leaving