Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Braid Station

In the night air,
My breath drifted away
In the lights of the stairway
At Braid Station.
I turned to look at the place
Where, in his old truck,
My brother-in-law used to pick me up,
Cigarette considerately held out the window.
Garrulous. Opinionated.
Seriously Italian.
Our good-natured philosophical arguments
Went on for twenty years of late nights
At your kitchen table.
Too often,
On the patio you built,
You smoked and we talked.
You smiled at my sincerity,
Striving to shoehorn your thinking
Into a twenty-first century mold,
To embrace animal rights,
And to quit smoking.
I could never tell you anything, could I?
For you, family
Was more important than anything else.
But first your little cough, and then
Your oxygen bottle
Condemned me to the seer's curse.
Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form.
But you still died, dammit!
I turned back
And continued up the stairs
To wait on the windy platform
At Braid Station.


  1. straight from the heart. beautiful.

    1. Thank you Susan. I hadn't been there for a couple of years, but went there last night and the memories came flooding back.

  2. I second Susan's remark. A really beautiful poem that touched me deeply. And "Seriously Italian" made me smile.

  3. very touching, like an Italian movie, I can see those nights at the table. a lovely, bittersweet square of poetry.

    1. Thanks Carole. I've never been called a square poet before ;)

  4. Touching! I can smell the cigarette smoke (it's very evocative of memories of my father), feel the wind. A patchwork square, indeed!

    1. Thank you, Lynette. It was easy to write about because the memories were so vivid. He was a larger then life kind of guy.

  5. Haunting and heart-felt... Thank you.

    1. Thanks very much, Bea. I was going to say that writing it helped me get past his death, but I don't think it did - more like it helped me appreciate his life.


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