NOTE TO HEAVEN
It has been so long since you left.
Tell me, how could something stab you in your heart?
Remember when you brought your son to New York City?
You were happy when you left, holding his hand, waving
from the train. Grandmother told me, “He looked like a
gangster.” I guess you seldom wore a suit.
Remember the apple tree, pear, and cherry… they are
all dead too. The house is getting old, run down, but
I still visit. Did they call it Goose Hill in 1928?
I wish you were walking with me, talking to me, holding
my hand when I was a child. I never knew you.
Women in the neighborhood work, wear pants, and
drive cars. Some don’t believe in marriage, or children,
and some women choose to have children without
a husband. You had your marriage planned: three days
and you were married.
I wonder if you felt pain, as Grandmother, the night
your son died? That was the beginning of the end, wasn’t it?
Now, so many people have passed away, or they live alone
without family or friends.
I still want to know - how did something stab your heart?
Remember when you told the boys not to climb the old
water tank, but they didn’t listen. The brick building in the
alley, the one where fruit was stored, it still stands; as children
we etched our name on brick.
Did you know you were leaving? Did you?
People commute to New York City by Amtrak, in no time.
Trains move fast. And, no one makes home made wine, or
gathers on a Sunday for a feast around the old maple table.
Were you sad, when you had to leave? Did you know?
Did someone stab you in your heart? Or, was it really a crate?
Down Street is empty, stores you would remember are torn
down. That railroad bridge crossing Erie Boulevard
near your home on Green Street is still there; but someone
robbed the sign, the city designated your green house by the
old tracks, historical.
You were a good man, an honest man with a family.
Did you watch from heaven when the boys sat around
the table and burned the mortgage? It was the best day of
Grandmother never placed a thing in the bow window
where you laid inside a casket. They drained your
blood into a tub, in your own bathroom.
Your friend, the one blown up in his car in front of a
hotel, he was on his way to testify on your behalf? He
must be with you now. All you did was work hard, and
deliver fruit; but the fruit men didn’t want to pay.
Nancy Duci Denofio
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