From my poetry collection, "All the Words in Between"
I’m molding into a storyteller with age,
but not without listening to how my mother
watched the world shift and write chapters.
She was working in an office for Bell South,
praying after the Challenger incident;
home, hearing what they found
under Gacy’s house; raising
me while I was too young to know what
was happening in Waco
or other places that took over the 90’s.
I can’t remember many events without
iPhones and constant coverage to flood us
with the new panic before we could digest the last.
Emotions seemed much more innocent,
too raw before millennial buzz gave us
numb stares, attention deficits.
It was life like the way her father, a farmer dressed
in rough hands and a stoic mouth, told her
the gravity of Kennedy with tears.
But generations after the last seem to start
all over again. Decades later, I was in school
in September, alerted by stern voices
and breaking news on every channel.
I was young–“what’s a terrorist attack?”
and other questions.
I wasn’t pushed into a new era
until I found her clutching Kleenex
in the living room.
I’m a wide-eyed witness, doomed to
pass around vivid images when wisdom sets.