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Monday, January 25, 2010
I can see out two windows from my favorite seat in the house,
the corner of a room we put laminate flooring in,
on the corner of a couch with a reading light.
It is generally dark, between 4:30 and 6am, winter, and
there is steam rising off a cup of coffee in one hand
with a book in the other. I'm the only one up and there is
a short stack of books on a makeshift bench of a coffee table.
The books determine the view out the windows. They propel
the mind, the couch, the house, often times so much that
I have to put them down, and the coffee,
and pick up a notebook and pen and scribble
thoughts that I didn't have yesterday or this morning
when I woke up and that I won't have tomorrow
or any other time but right now.
This morning it is light out. Anna is up with me, bouncing back
and forth between writing or working in her reading practice books
and creating a tyrannical funhouse world for the cats.
"When did Pop die?" she asks, remembering my grandfather
who died a couple years ago.
Her memory of him is as an old man with a great heart and laugh
who couldn't see or hear or walk well.
My memories of him span thirty-some years--as chauffeur,
as recovered alcoholic, as lover of the Baltimore Colts and
the Evening Sun paper and Robert Service poetry.
I remember him with me on the ice of Town Creek in Oxford,
with most of the town after a winter storm from the late 1970s.
It's a view of Town Creek I'll hold as long as my memory allows,
one of my favorites, though I've only seen it that way once
and not again since. He helped make that memory for me.
Thirty-some years of memories I have of Pop. And yet
he lived to be ninety. My time with him was a fraction of his life lived.
A part of my life that I haven't even come to yet.
Anna has turned the TV on and asked for a drink.
She has moved on with her morning.
Mine is still with Pop.