Answering the Attorney's Question

Asked what I received from you from our parents’ possessions,

I say I have their wedding photo album.


But there is a problem.

The problem is with the first and second pages.


I know this book.


When I was young,

I would climb the pull-down steps to the attic to look at it

And to look at Mom’s wedding gown

In a blue plastic bag she thought 

Would protect it from sun and soil and her children.


The dress is gone,

But here is the album,

Which you left with me in my driveway

After dark

With their marriage certificate

Two days after Dad died.


The plastic sleeve protecting

The first two photos 

Is mutilated,

And the photos are gone.


Dad’s parents are missing from this album.

Dad and his groomsmen, also missing.


The pages are bloated and creased,

Rearranged.


The album does not begin with the bride

But with a torn plastic sleeve.


You’ve done violence to this album,

Savaging memory.


You put your anger on me,

But this is not my story. 

I am merely a witness to your rage.


The torn plastic:

That is you.


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