Tag Archives: parents

Future Dog

Future Dog wags her tail in the passenger seat of Future Car, which can pull 3,500 pounds, the weight of Future Camper plus a buffer against the life we are leaving,  my old cat dead and cremated, like her brother before; likewise my mother, like my father before; their ashes placed in Future Car for […]


I I assemble the notebook of my mother’s dying: the specialists’ names, numbers, addresses. Diagnoses, prognoses, prescriptions. Explanations of every benefit we do not feel. We decline patient portals. For our convenience, they say, but we are not yet fools.  We recognize the human hand washed by technology of our sticky anxiety, the obdurate, unanswerable […]

Sitting between my father’s ashes and my sleeping mother

I consider the difficulty of endings, the origin of parents, their lives before me, what repository holds their spent youth, whether it is the same that holds mine, that holds yours. Or will. Weren’t we, not knowing it, magnificent? Didn’t we dream? Weren’t we foolish, and pulsing with possibility? Flawed and earnest, didn’t we love? […]

Family portrait

Of course there was love. And outside the frame, the unspoken grievance, the ambiguous harm, fissures forming, fault lines; the common geology of family. How quietly durable our domestic discord, how persistent beyond the curated image: One two-hundredth of a second, F-stop 5.6; the precise shutter speed and aperture to create evidence, make artifact, of […]

End zone

Slumped and somnolent, my father smells of urine and stasis, his eyes half-lidded, his shirt half-buttoned, his catheter — part of him now, no less than the wheelchair– leaking from his belly like a poorly kept secret. I dream his body a piñata at a party no one believes, an imitation life waiting to break […]

In praise of dead fathers,

the clarity of their absence. Does enough of you remain to shoulder the dulled implement, excavate some shard of horror at your disappeared life? No. Your fluid, nimble brain has gone porous and brittle, and what can you see in the attenuating dark? This is you now, slumped in the wheel chair, confused and compliant, a […]


Your days in the dark mute before the television dozing in your wheelchair in a room that stinks of incontinence I want to swim you back like a lifeguard my arm a bandolier across your frail chest beneath the arm made useless by the worst fall (Why did you, why did we, let them pick […]

Now you know

  You can cry while running but it’s best to just breathe when your disappearing father shits himself again in long term care. And you can laugh at the squirrel’s antics even with earth from the cat’s grave still fresh beneath your nails. Now you know the finest prayer you will ever offer is sweet […]

The tunnel

For the last few days I have been watching an orb-weaver in my perennial bed. The spider is small for her kind — no more than a half-inch long with legs extended — but her web is typically intricate and beautiful, concentric circles glimmering in the sun. Summer is waning, and her time, too, is running […]