Deathbeds and Vigils

i. Bid & Bobby
Something else stretches wide tentacles across the valley – something else, save the shadow of death before when Bobby spent heavy eyed mornings looking after Bid. Before Bid drank. Before Bid had children. Before Bid said: I…relapsed… before Bobby hung up the phone.

I never knew about his pet name for you, until you were dying, that is.

ii. Mothers and Daughters
Mother is a muscle – names her youngest daughter after herself, while the older one (the fair one) named after the Mothers older sister who used to be a beauty queen before she killed herself behind the hazy closed garage door while the engine revved like a high school boy might cackle under its growl. Or the father (grandfather of my father) who was shot in the back by a cop for rum running through Canada long before any of us were born to breed our story across the century like lazy wallops of the wind or the shade that casts itself across the face while breaking like a painting unsalvaged in its earthly ordinariness.

Your Mother (my grandmother) hated my Mother,
and when she died the old chiming clock in the
living room stopped, though it was strangely echoed
by father's phone call deep in the night while I slept
in the big bed with Mother out of freight. Oddly
dreaming about animation and sitting in the center
of a row of cousins I had never met, tickets bought
by a grandmother who hated the sight of me for
my Mothers beauty transcendent in my own face.

You never knew who your father was. A secret was kept with conception and never retold though my father has his suspicions.

We buried the Mother long ago.

iii. Address/Commiseration
You died in the morning
during the rain-season when
the rivers scratch at their
banks toward the highways.

I told your brother
the news while we stood
in the rain.

Outside
waiting
for
the
day
to
break
wide
open, or something to that effect.

Your brother (my father)
tells me that he vomited
later in the afternoon.

iv. Bleeding Heart
The good Irish
race myths back to pre-conclusion.

The good Irish
bleed their pure of hearts
brethren,

the good Irish-

catholic
hearts bleed.

The good Irish
rosary bead hip
summersault
the hype of

the good Irish
who come home.

Catholics always
come home
sooner

or later, even

in
death.

v. Vigils
Last Sunday we rode
down to Everett
in the car listening
the Enya's 'Best of'
cd and analyzed how we
would say or goodbyes.

For example:
is it suicide to drink yourself to death?
is it strange to die with a history of suicide attempts already racked onto your belt, or to have been picked up by Bobby from the police station after slashing at your husband in a drunken/crazed moment of anger with a knife they probably bought from an infomercial back when she and the second husband and the children with the first husband were pretending to be a family?

When we got there
she was already in the semi
coma, so jaundiced that she glowed
saffron in the day-glo visuals of
the hospital i.c.u.

she never woke up,
just shuttered or stirred
every few minutes

we all said:
wake!
lazy bones, wake!
Bridget!
Bid!
wake!

Bobby sits at the foot of the bed,
tickles her feet,
tries.

Someone has to tell grandpa, though as I said before
she is not his real daughter, he is just the father
she was lead to believe was hers by the Mother.

vi. Deathbeds
I cannot condense time
into a sphere for you darling,
I cannot change space,

though I did bring home
ice cream to my father

spatter sticky notes all
day with words and
poetry, mind
races like a pony
in gallop.

In the end
the liver fails, then the
kidney, then the heart,
then the children who
never forgave you
for breaking up the
family,

children that have
not grasped the greater
truth of their Mother
acting as the reformed
embodiment of her Mother,
and her Mother before her
and yet still more Mothers
and hidden/forgotten
fathers who's names can
never be spoken by their daughters.

Before I left the hospital
I reached out to you, said:

goodbye Aunt Bridget,
I love you.