Poetry

‘Ancestors’ and other poems

By: J. K. Durick

Photo by Adam B. on Pexels.com

Ancestors

I can picture them, can’t you
Our ancestors
There in their huts and hovels
Imagining a new life elsewhere
Thinking of moving on
Wanting something better
For their children, grandchildren
Even their old age
I picture mine finally getting
Tired of the accepted
The things they were born to
The hovel, the hut, their poverty,
the violence and famine
One day they or was it he or she
Said no more and became
Us
And now here we are sitting here
Just after a big dinner
In this peaceful neighborhood
Retired now, secure
Imagining them getting up and
Moving toward the door
Saying, “there’s got to be better
Than this.”

###

Escaping

They gave us the stripped down version of
a wheelchair, the one they reserve for
husbands to push. A few instruction and off
we went, through the waiting room filled with
people waiting their turn, then hallway, then
along the balcony open to the main lobby,
a floor below. At first it seems a bit taxing and
then it becomes escaping, getting away from
the tests, the scopes, investigations of parts
of us we keep hidden. No one is following us
making sure we are doing the prescribed. We
could ad lib if we wanted, race, weave in and
out, make race car noises, but we don’t. This
is escaping back to our regular lives, as if we
are finally free – but of course the reasons we
were here are following us, we never really get
away. But when we get to the elevator, and no
one has called our names, trying to catch us, we
know that we are almost out, almost away at
least for today, at least this time. Then finally
the parking garage and turning in the parking
stub to the unsmiling guy who wishes us a good
day as we head back into the regular traffic of
our lives.

###

Dreaming

I stepped on him in the dark, woke him.
He stirred and groaned himself awake.
I took him away from his dreams, his
dreams where he sees again, now wakes
to his blindness. Where was he, what was
he doing? Was he playing ball with Nate
on the side lawn – racing each time to
catch or fetch a ball he missed? Or was
he chasing that rabbit down the street,
a story I’ve told over and over, can he
again hear me calling for him to stop?
He’s blind and deaf but in his sleep he
is back seeing and hearing, running and
chasing, back being the dog he once was.
But what did I do? I woke him to his reality
of not seeing, not hearing and too lame to
easily get up. A dog in the dark must feel
terribly alone – like all of us would.

###

J. K. Durick is a retired writing teacher and online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Black Coffee Review, Literary Yard, Sparks of Calliope, Synchronized Chaos, Madswirl, Journal of Expressive Writing, Lightwood, and Highland Park Poetry.

Categories: Poetry

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