WHEN I GET THERE
When I get there it will be my parents who greet me
Father with his stern look, angry that I have learned
His harshness was more abuse than discipline.
Mother aloof as always, critical that I did not spend
More time in her company.
Grandfathers and grandmothers I never knew will try
To guilt me that I did not know them and their sufferings,
Nor pay attention to my father’s lessons about them.
Piles of ancestors like old newspapers in the basement
Will present themselves like headlines for me to acknowledge.
Dogs from my past will bound forward through green fields,
Tails wagging a quick metronome to their happy bark.
My black cat, distant as my mother, will sit on a rock drinking
The sun, allowing himself the luxury of an occasional purr, the
Twitch in his tail, a signal of annoyance at being detected.
The sky will be a wondrous blue, like the aquamarine in my mother’s
Ring, the sun, yellow like the stars my aunts, uncles and cousins wore
The green meadows will be filled like Noah’s Ark with animals at play
With each other and there will be peace everywhere and respect for each
Person, and I will wonder why the world from which I came could not
Have been so, and glad I have been welcomed to this one.
© ZVI SESLING
IBBETSON STREET PRESS 25 School Street, Somerville, MA 02143