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Family Visit

It was a most surreal dream I had last night.
We wandered, holding hands,
across the unfamiliar lawn
of an unfamiliar house
into an unfamiliar room –
one much more light and bright and airy
than the dark New England house
that I grew up in –
filled with my family;
some of them still living, some now dead.

I knew without their saying what their thoughts were.
“Oh God, she’s got another. Where does she find them?”
I didn’t bother telling them that you’d found me.
It would have made no nevermind.
My reputation in the family’s somewhat tarnished;
they always count on me to be the black sheep.
Had I shown up with a new lover in a suit
I would have shattered that fixed picture
they so cherish and rely on.
And you know how much I hate to disappoint.

I don’t know why I felt impelled
to bypass all the living
and to single out the dead and introduce you.
Perhaps my knowing they are dead
led me to think they couldn’t protest,
or perhaps I thought you’d feel at home with them.
They weren’t shocked, they weren’t smirking.
They greeted us with calm acceptance, every one.
But when we moved into that bedroom
all the living raised their eyebrows in alarm.

We shut the door on all of them
and lay together on a bed I’d never slept in
and enjoyed each other’s bodies
for a long and lazy time.
When, satisfied, emerging,
all the clucking tongues were still.
Only the dead remained
and smiled at us, approving.
It may be true that only shades of life
can understand this dark attraction.

© 2013 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

Family Visit

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

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