Thursday, March 15, 2007


Grandmother and Grandfather Cummings

Married after the turn of the century, my Irish immigrant grandfather (an Irish tenor) died, like many Irish immigrants then, of tuberculosis. Bright mustang he was” died, coughing, just before his wife “through pain and blood, opened as life pounded at the locks giving birth of my mother.

It begins with my grandmother, old and remembering: One remembers the past in snapshots not epochs, so she thumbed through her 80 years. She is so old she is pale as a winter’s sun, and stiff as a spinster’s spine…. Remembers being courted by the Irishman, the evenings: moon-wooed; moon-silvered walks, flower-scented talks, the lake-sided willow wept with joy. They were married brightly united on a bell-ringing Sunday

But after he coughed himself to death, she was alone the home, like Coney Island in winter....
in the sad days of dying willows.

But this poem is of her last day of remembering… her last moments of dreaming; sitting by her window and she calls down the last feeble-stepping dream--gold bathed.

Tired and resigned, with grace, she leaves:....the
faint tick-tocking of her willing heart.…the soft strum of a song being sung by a waiting, missing mustang.