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.

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6 Responses to Night Thoughts

  1. Juan November 3, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    No life is ‘insignificant’ — Consciously
    or not, everyone makes history.

    Beyond which whether ashes or dust or..
    we all still exist and
    will continue

    • Michael D. Yates November 3, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Juan, that is one way to look at it. Perhaps what I am saying is that history itself is insignificant. Certainly to the crows and cottonwoods!

  2. kd November 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Poetic and evocative. The voices of our dead still resound in our hearts and heads.

  3. Michael D. Yates November 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    kd, thanks for you kind comment. What you say is true.

  4. Mark Lovas November 9, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    You can be disappointed because life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would. And all that disappointment is not some kind of personal illusion; it’s real, a vision of reality, and it’s bitter–But, that’s the past. The real beast is fearing the future.

  5. Michael D. Yates November 10, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Mark, the fears my mother, father, and grandmother had from their pasts made them fearful of the future too. Not that they didn’t have hopes and dreams, but that they knew in their hearts that these were unlikely to be fulfilled. today, I think these fears have moved upward into the lives of those who came from families with much higher incomes. Young people around the world must be very fearful of the future.

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