Something About Living
I remember mother in a shuffle-huff of
Trillium cards and Ontario Works cheques
beneath the keyed maple we kept in the backyard
when I'd clip around it and the fenceposts with
hedgerow tools and she'd keep lined paper
books open until sun-up, give me spare change before school.
I remember father pushing my back to walls
and swish of teary eyes he denied to me
when I looked solemn at a McChicken wrapper
and the tubes jutting from five places at least
to keep his breath intact the last time
before the call with all the talking around.
I remember grandfather with his guitar case and
his father's poetry books, kept locked
off in the furnished basement's half-light embrace
and the look on his face when he passed
it off as state secrets with mustache
bristles and Arizona postcards.
I remember grandmother when her veins
change to eldest oak form and the Anne Murray
Chistmas CDs in the cabinet she kept finely
dusted in the room she had as her own
in daughter's house; she hated the road view
in the last year or two.