THE FAMILY CEMETERY, A POEM

  1. You've always been clumsy,
  2. the stupid comment from the other side of the room, flustered,
  3. getting lost in the drivers seat, searching for the family cemetery
  4. and places you've been a million times before, but laughing at yourself;
  5. .
  6. until you started mispronouncing words like Mesothelioma,
  7. and we made you say them over and over;
  8. .
  9. until you started that book on Parkinson's,
  10. read that it should skip your generation,
  11. then put it down for good;
  12. .
  13. until you started fussing at Granny
  14. when she would grunt and fight for control of herself;
  15. you think you'll always have control of yourself at least,
  16. .
  17. until your brother isn't buried in the family cemetery,
  18. and your lips jut out when you think
  19. and your feet wring together when you think you're sitting still;
  20. .
  21. until you become uncaring, involuntary movements
  22. of muscles and mouth and fingers on lettered keys -
  23. locking the bathroom door, shaking shutter, blurry photos in the mirror,
  24. aching hands holding tightly to schedules, steering wheels, songs that aren't yours,
  25. .
  26. but we just want to be yours - teasing and talking and telling you which direction to go
  27. when you're lost. I just hope you don't end up searching for the family cemetery alone.