Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Greenland: For Jim Craig on the Day of His Funeral

The oven was ticking.
It could have been a bomb.
You were eating with gusto.
Testing the Thanksgiving turkey
so we wouldn’t get poisoned.
Dinner made you noble.
We were watching college football on your dinky thirteen-incher.
A Kia commercial got me babbling
about my dad’s exploits.
Dead Chinese.
The wounds which occasionally suppurated out of his back,
like tears for his dead mates. And you said:
How N onward got slaughtered at Pork Chop.
Snow melted, wound your clock,
Letting you chug-a-lug your living.
You sliced a hunk of meat, dipped it into gravy.
A to M were slaughtered.
Diamonds glittered out of your eyes and teeth.
You smiled.
The oven clock rang in agreement;
Sweet buttered yams ready.
Like one of those perky girls, waiting to be examined in Kevin’s darkroom.
Her plentiful thighs, fat, sassy.
Then you were crying. Memory.
The dice of the alphabet.

—Ivor Irwin

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