A new gray pickup was parked beside the road in front of my childhood home, just past our Canary Island pine. Out of it, one by one, their feet in shoes on the ground, came several dead relatives on my father’s side — old uncles and cousins different now and restored to health, restored from suicide, cancer, and loss.
Lord, I said from a plateau of unbelieving, it’s good to see them again.
And who is this extra brother, friendly and familiar as all the rest?
The wind blew off my hat. I caught it mid-gust and put it on again.
I’d crossed the road to get the mail. Our mailbox had been chopped down, so I walked on to a neighbor’s house that wasn’t there in the past, and found the mail waiting for me on a table outside. When I turned around, the relatives were walking toward me.
Joyful greetings all around — but no touching, no handshakes or hugs or rugged back rubs.
We all knew, something.
Crossing again — whatever was there is gone.
Image: My Father’s Side, September 13, 2009, #2 Pencil on Index Card.