Archive for the ‘Aunt Nell’ Category

1983-03-12 My Great Aunt Nell

Saturday, March 12th, 1983

My Great Aunt Nell

I’m time tripping in a very different way tonight.
My Great Aunt Nell McGee was over for dinner
and I pulled out the old boxes of photographs
that I was never able to face
after my mother passed away.

Mixed there were my mother’s collection
and my Great Aunt Mame’s.
Things that ran from Rose and I, three years ago,
to my Great Grand Parents;
Pennsylvania farmers and Irish immigrants.

Even now I sit among these beautiful people’s
pictures, long gone.

But when my Aunt was here, it was different.
Through her eyes, I saw my mother at 17,
young and fresh and pretty,
and my Grandfather as a young blade,
with wit and intelligence
engraved so clearly on his face.
I followed brothers and sisters
throughu births and deaths;
through first-hand knowledge
and through things just heard.
She put names to faces fifty years gone
and I felt them as they were.

I saw my Father, briefly,
some ghost image who came into
and out of my Mother’s life
in a camera’s blink of time.

I saw myself, as little Chris is today,
when my Grandfather was old
and I saw my Grandfather’s youth
with a rebel’s spirit
so clearly on his face.

12 Mar 1983
San Juan Capistrano


— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —

1983-03-12

Saturday, March 12th, 1983

All these photograph faces swimming bye
moments captured forever
then…now.

They laughed at the camera
so alive, and yet so frail
compared to these paper traces
they’ve left.

Each one I throw away hurts.
I think, that with a motion,
I may be disconnecting the last memory
of someone.
Someone who loved,
whose blood flows in mine
a lifetime of experiences
gone now
because no one remembers their name.

I threw away a weathered envelope,
circa 1920, whose contents had been lost
in the photograph box’s general melee
and I remember there was written on it
‘Via con Dios’ is someone’s handwriting.

12 Mar 1983
San Juan Capistrano


— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —

1983-03-12 – Rosemary, my mother’s sister

Saturday, March 12th, 1983

Rosemary, my mother’s sister

That all our small wishes and dreams
be driven from the stage
like sand before the storm.

Should we hold the echoes or
let them go?
I feel grief when I read this child’s card,
whose dead forty years,
when she writes
she’ll be home soon
in a child’s scrawl.

Barely done … and when I drop the card
washed away forever.

I threw the card away three times
and took it back again.

12 Mar 1983
San Juan Capistrano


— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —