Memory, Extracted

These Boots Are Made for Walking
Mom’s torn bloody blue dress
Quentin Collins: Dad asks Are you in love?

German chocolate cake
Catechism and First Communion
Fingers pointed skyward in prayer

Upstairs closets
Hidden treasures
Games children play

McCulloch chain saw’s whine
Dad’s big blade, its morning growl
How he made his living

Sizzle and stink
Wet woolen mittens
Rusted red-hot furnace drum

Blizzard revelries
Snow tunnels in howling darkness
Snapshots of forgotten strangers, stranded for the night

Rats in the brooder house
Gutted Brown Swiss
Suspended in air, the winch from Dad’s boom truck

Sponge for adult gossip
Me, glued to the kitchen table
Women whirling drinks, inhaling their cigarettes

Who I was
where I came from
what I might have become

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