Dear Mama, April 27th

Reflections on
A weekend I spent pouring over the pieces of your life

Polaroid photographs, long wild hair and a somber expression,
flanked by a dog and a bearded admirer, classically cool

Every paper I ever wrote
A brown spiral notebook containing six drafts
of the same apology letter
A blue stuffed animal of a Japanese cartoon character
Art supplies for a lifetime of making things that matter
Your collie Sam, forever smiling in black and white
Your big, dark eyes dusted by bangs in a high school portrait,
and framed by short waves in an 80's band photo
Your great capacity for love spilling out of every envelope and
onto the floorboards
Maybe that's why your heart gave out.

I wish I could ask you why you kept
Poorly drawn doodles I gave you or mundane old letters but
I know it's for the same reason I keep those things
You didn't realize you were leaving
Me to find them all, no You
to ask how to cherish them or to dispose of them
So I do it for you, I listen for you
Guiding my hand

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