HOW THE FAMILY MOURNS OUR DEAD

We gladly share our Michigan, our Coldwater, our attempt at spring,
but hold fast to our grievances, our unspoken whatevers –
the weather won’t change until someone fetches the pinochle cards.

This state is big enough, the town is small, the lakes
are deep. Each of us privately thinks of the others as more loyal.
Each of us thinks we are the only ones hiding tattoos

under sensible clothing: barbed wire, roses, a drop of blood,
ink in the shape of a scar we never discuss. Family
is a history full of question marks,

a scrapbook with names and dates redacted.
Someone calls attention to the cardinals at the feeder.
This gives us an excuse to talk about how beauty does not need us
             though shame does.

It is almost time to eat. At such gatherings, it is always almost time to eat.


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Amorak Huey is author of the chapbook The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2014) and the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress Publications, 2015). A former newspaper editor and reporter, he teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Follow him on Twitter: @amorak.