~after J.F.


Pulling out of the nursery with a load
of perennials, my oldies station on the car radio–
Are you going to San Francisco?  Not today.
Never made it there. Just that farmhouse
on the back road, my roommates and the guy
with the bus and the socialist
who wrote the campus paper who killed himself
after graduation and the other one–
what did I call him?–Michael from Mountains–
he was very cool when I said sorry I’d only just met him–
I left the blinker on for a couple of blocks.
It isn’t loud enough. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Four, no,
three daylilies to disguise the daffodils’ death-
throes. Four baptisia, big and bright and fuss
-free. Maybe next spring two small trees
for shade and ease. A bad moon on the rise, or
is it, haha, A bathroom on the right?  I could use
some Mama Cass–Dream a little dream
which reminds me, we must get down
to see the kids. It’s been since Christmas.
Remember to bring some of Grandma’s lilies.
Only fools rush in. Time
to put the houseplants on the porch–
maybe the cactus will bloom better. The pot’s
too heavy. As I recall, it was then, too.
Ads. Assisted living for “mom.”
A tacky funeral home–could it be?  Yup,
the place that buried my father-in-law.
In the “family room” a little coffin
music box played a funeral march–.
not Gounod. That was the marionette
and Alfred Hitchcock. Chopin, I’m pretty sure.
Happy Together. The Turtles. “Our song”
for awhile. Good old Steve. Commercial
Real Estate and a wife whose name
sounded like mine, which probably made
it easier.  Next to the coffin a coffee table book
about sadism in the movies. How Dad
would have laughed. Now I can’t get no
satisfaction. Jagger looks like an old woman.
A whole generation. Same explanation.
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.


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