Sunday, March 29, 2009

Going Home, Like A Reed In Snow

So many writers claim this about going home. I remember several moments of my life going back to somewhere important, how it had changed. It has always seemed vaguely insulting if not downright hurtful that things change this way.

These poems are what happened to me Dec. 18. That day was my Dad's birthday. Every year on that day I remember him to his daughter and last wife, her mother. I remember him to my sister. He raised us, my mother's husband, after I asked him to marry us when I was five. My sister came to us when she was in fourth grade and me in sixth after she lived in a holocaust behind a white picket fence down in the LA area. She is really my cousin. In her way I think she loved him more than me. Dad died of bone cancer in 2001. So this day is larger in my life than most.

Going Home

I tried to go home
The way I remembered it,
Turned the last corner,
Nothing true was there.
All was twisted, different.
My heart broke open.

I think I need a tantrum.
I need to tweak God's old nose.


God and me, we have that sort of relationship. I was arguing with Him before I was born, quite like Jacob would not let go of the angel. I am in the fix I am in because of that argument. Just like this:

Like A Reed In Snow

Standing so upright,
So ramrod straight for so long
I am like frosted,
Like a reed in snow,
Forgetful of all futures,
Of all plans you had
For me, for my life.

Is this the way it will be
Between us, you gone, me stiff?


I learned in AA that if I can't be angry with God, who can I be angry with? If Jesus calls God, Abba, and I am in image and likeness, then I too can call God, Abba. Fathers forgive the anger of sons, at least good ones do. But I stew in my own juice a bit :)


  1. If I remember correctly, Jacob ended up receiving a significant blessing even after that wrestling match. Don't let go till you get through to yours!

    I had to laugh out loud at your
    "I need a tantrum." Been there, too, my friend.

    Thank you for leaving the best comments on my blog.

  2. "I think I need a tantrum" :-)
    Me too...


    How do I find that place again?
    Sticky sweet like the candy
    left over from grandma's visit
    and the sun setting still
    New Jersey coastline
    outside my window...
    music from the next room...
    Jimi Hendrix loud, loud, loud
    and brothers yelling to be heard.

    The puzzle pieces still undone
    from Uncle Lenny's visit.
    We tried to finish it before he left.

    Let me sit again 12 stories high
    and hear the sighs of my mother
    as she knocks on my door
    hoping this time I might smile
    at her. Home again.

    How do I find this?

    In a poem my brother
    sends me...his epic journey
    about stars and monkeys
    and taxi cabs... the bits of shared
    experience? Or the phone calls
    from my mother each day wondering
    where she went wrong...Or the silence
    of my father sitting as ash
    in her closet on the highest shelf.
    Within this hollow, memories
    are fading slowly
    away like dust in the air
    settling elsewhere.
    And I try to hold on,
    but like Christopher
    I just want to have a tantrum.

  3. Jonnia, thank you, and on tantrums I knew I wasn't the only one. :) See? I'm better now.

    Hey, Lisa.

    Faith, This is a good poem, but you might need to rework the last bit ;) which might not work without an explanatory on who the hell is Christopher and why does he enter the poem?

  4. Oh, yes -- but it was a poem for only here:-)

    And I think everyone here knows who the hell you are;-)

  5. I've had nightmares about this sort of thing, going home and it's all broken and twisted, all wrong. My childhood home. I went back once, as an adult, and it was like walking into the nightmare. The story about your dad, and sister, that's too powerful for me to process this Monday morning. I think it will sit with me for a while.

  6. Okay then. And maybe you guys know who the hell I am. Possibly. Slippery, you know.

  7. Rachel, that's a kind thing to say about my dad and sister. There's of course a lot more to that story, a whole "rest of the story".

  8. Where I live, we say we want to "throw a fit." Sometimes it's the only thing that feels right.

    Throw away, Christopher and Faith, too.

  9. Karen, I could have thrown a fit but I don't think it worded out that way very well. Besides I like the word "tantrum" :) It's a colloquial from 1714, and sounds vaguely Latin.

    I am nearly always aiming at five or seven syllable lines.

  10. I am needing a tantrum or two myself right now.

    I had to process these twice.

    Are you me :0)



The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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