Grade A: Julia [from Because: Meditations on the Beatles Songbook]

Written in Albuquerque (Terrace SE), spring 2011.  I wrote a poem for every Beatles song and collected them in a book.  Usually the poems have scant relation to the songs they’re named after, but this poem about my mother was an obvious stand-in for John Lennon’s hymn to his.  The scene is Roswell, NM.  Published in Because and Wings of the Gray Moon.

JULIA

to Margaret

1971

 

Why don’t we like to think of our parents as people who’ve

wanted things, done something about it, suffered the fruit?

whose bodies were friendly to second bodies, third?  I know why.

It makes us questionable.  Not only in the sense that our lives

become crapshoots, might-never-have-beens, transparent blurs,

but in an icier sense:  that we don’t matter, we’re the field for their

excursions, their stabs into choice—that we could’ve been anyone,

so long as they achieved themselves.  This is something of what

went through me when I opened the old velvety cardboard

that held the young photo of you, supine on a sofa, naked.

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