MY MOTHER KEPT A DIARY
of the weather, calls from her sister, letters from friends. Not what they said or were about, only their dates and times: Nancy called. June 25. 9:20. Cloudy with rain today. Letter from Hazel. Nov. 14. Snow. Words keeping track of when words happened inside what the sky was doing. A chronicle. A code. An abbreviation of detailed pages written before mailed and lengthy conversations after 9 when the rates were cheap.
If Miklós Radnóti’s wife could sift through his coat pockets to find his last poems after a mass grave was unearthed with his body, I guess I could sift through landfills in towns where mom’s friends died to find her letters. There are divining rods to find water. There are metal detectors and Oui-Ja boards.
How I go looking for the lost or missing words is probably one of the reasons (Freud) I’ve kept my mother in a box on the bookshelf between my poetry books since 1993. I don’t want to have to dig her up to get anything more than the date, the time, and the weather. Oct. 12. 10:50. Sunny.
Grounded on the back side of Scranton, Pa, CRAIG CZURY has a 2020-2021 poetry residency at a science high school in Northern Italy, and a Fulbright scholarship to Chile. His latest book, Postcards & Ancient Texts, is a collection of 40 years of napkin poems. Craigczury.com