Dogs 2010

REUNION
(8/11/10)


I go
because
my 96 year old
grandmother
needs
an escort

I see
these people
only once
on even
numbered years
and need to
relearn
their faces
and names
each time

we
are all
related
through blood
or marriage
but I don't
know what
to say
to most
of them

I bring
my grandmother
food and drink
and try to help
her blind eyes
see
the proceedings

she's often
confused
when someone
is loudly talking
around her
not knowing
if the comments
and questions
are meant
for her
or someone
else

I do
my best
to direct
and redirect
the words

my eyes
meet
with those
of people
who look like me
but a smile
and a nod
are the best
that I
can muster

most of us
moved long ago
from the family
farming grounds
and are now
visitors
in our
homeland

I remember
these events
as a child
much yelling
and laughter
cards and games
beer and wine
lasting long
into the
evening

today
we are alcohol
free
with a low
murmuring
accompanying a few
quiet competitions
and reviews
of photographs

I am
wrangled
into a dice game
with a 92 year old
great uncle
and his 85
year old
"girlfriend"

he is probably
the most lively
of the bunch

thank God
for coffee

the festivities
are over
for Grandma
and me
at 3pm
and I drive
her home

each
ancestral
get together
I think
will be
her last

but she's
all smiles
and energy today
after relishing
the warmth
of relatives

I make
plans
for 2012