Now, Lucille is dead.
Her executor had all photographs raked
to the center of the living room;
but the tarnished
teacups from Brussels are gone.
Robert's water colors have left
only white rectangles, and the cardinals
Lucille embroidered after their marriage
(two lobes of one heart seeking
with identical beaks) will never again
support her back or mine.
Who sits in that chair beneath a clock now?
I have nibbled and sucked at
as my fingers pressed and left their breath
upon the Christmas-cold of this window.
I have sat here with my mother, with both
of my parents, with would-be wives.
I arrange us by holiday, decade, generation.
Here is my great-grandfather
in a churchyard in Belgium. He is not yet
If this single image were lost,
our nineteenth century would be lost,
and his death would be complete.
I lay him and his daughter Eugenie and her
daughter Lucille to the silk of a suitcase
which once belonged to his mother.
Here, everyone who is gone is together again.
© 2010 Fammerée
* * * * *
* * * * *