/Night Thoughts

Night Thoughts

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IMG_9327¬†What happened to my mother’s dreams? And my father’s too? They’re gone, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I see all the dead men and women walking arm in arm, talking, around the block near the old house. I walk with them. What are they saying?

“I didn’t think it would be like this, Mike.”

“I sat in the dark every morning and cried and prayed. I didn’t believe in it, but I allowed it anyway. Will God forgive me.”

“It hasn’t been a happy life, Michael.”

“Irene, I think if you got the green shower curtains, they would match the color of the walls.”

“I got some old dresses from Mrs. Berg. I sent them to Pansy. I’ll sew them for her when I get home again.”

“You’re forty-five, half as old as me.”

“Did you give Michael the dimes.”

“There were some for sister, too.”

“We can’t afford for you to go to Europe, Mike.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t come, Mike. You know I love you.”

“No man canna cook.”

“Ol Liza, po gal.”

“If I had the wing of an angel.”

“Don’t you ever blame me for your problems.”

“Stand in there, watch the ball, don’t back away.”

“Guys used to drink Aqua Velva.”

“Michael, I’m a little afraid of her.”

“Tutti matti.”

I keep thinking about the cemeteries. I lie in bed at night and cry for those interred. Karen sleeps by my side. Life is tragic in its insignificance. Can I really have lived this long? What does it matter? The crows will still fly when my ashes are scattered. And the leaves of the cottonwoods will sound their death rattle when fall is done and winter shows its harsh and lonely face.