postcard from home to home

My father sent me a letter confirming that, while Mother’s Day was a beast of feeling far away and separated, Father’s Day might be more beastly. My mother’s coming in August. My father, probably, won’t be able to come at all or ever.

Notes on Distance:

Always, a routine of being fed violins. You cannot bring plants from New York to California, but seeds in our cheeks made it past inspection and the yard is dry, has never known deciduous or judicious. I know he’d stand around with the hose and everything would grow, but I also know his farm was a handful of chickens, some cows, and a lamb. Nothing made any money, but at least everyone ate.

: Families pop up and we bear it all on small wrists, sounds instead of words.

Revolve toward feeling nested. Did you mean to say resolve? My father asked

about a grandchild and the shift is stranger–like feeling the center of my 

stomach or renewable roots where all parts spine and echo

something I said when I was four,“I’ll never grow up.” 

I know he remembers the disappointment, calls it flowering to draw out kindness, the poison too. It isn’t lovely to feel a heavy percentage of metal in the bones, heavy lead in the heels. I’ve seen him fall down, even need a hand to stand up. Later, the same father

“Nobody gave me a better thing than a daughter.” This has something to do with singing, the way notes accentuate pauses. All day long I think about what I would have slowed down and then the day’s over. The ginger root, even, rots and he would have loved the redwoods, but evergreens are more for him and, probably, more for me. The ocean, here, isn’t ours and we’d both have taken to the lake.

Not a pretty thing: the difficulty of beginning to talk as if we’ll never see each other again: like being one of the snails I keep stepping on, the lemon trees where lemons pull the branches down and nothing survives weight.


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