SPOTLIGHT: Heirline Fractures by Brenda-Lee Ranta

Heirloom Memory

my first memory.
A tall man sitting
on the arm rests
of a child’s rocker
Hand inflections
with animated voice;
read a bed time story
through crib bars

My baby mind recalls
a certain tenderness
in his voice
Not the actual voice,
but rather his tenderness

he was my father.

Reel to Reel

I was the propeller
on a helicopter,
swung in spirals
my dog jumping,
barking beneath me;
my face filled with joy.

He was laughing,
turning me in circles
until I was dizzy;
my dog beneath me,
yelping for him to stop
He kept laughing while
I was whirring about
in a giddy euphoria.

The film reel stopped there.
So, did he.

The Moment

Words were said
that I couldn’t
He was dead.
Whatever dead meant.
Jesus had taken him;
a place called Heaven

Was it subliminal
to my baby mind;
Jesus took my Daddy
to live in another house
on a street named Heaven;
doesn’t Daddy doesn’t love
me or Mommy

He went to live in
another house with
Can I go there?
Why can’t I go there?
It’s up in the sky
where the stars are.
Jesus needs him.

I wanted him home
at my house,
not at Heaven.

Just then there was
a loud crack.

The first fracture.

That is Dead

Sitting on a sofa at
my grandparents;
anticipation at
the sight of
my mother
crossing the lawn
She waved at me
through the window
I was so happy that
that she was home

Then we moved.
far away.

He was a nice man,
named Dave who took
us to meet his mother
in big old house with
an overgrown yard
where I saw a perfect
skeleton of cat,
in the tall grass,
beside a wire fence
I stood there fascinated
and yet frightened
at the same time
It occurred to me,
that is dead.
That is what dead looks like!

I thought about the cat
skeleton a very long time;
unable to stop; then
I thought of my dad,
a skeleton in tall grass,
in Heaven.

I never told my mother
about the cat skeleton.

Princess Dreams

Mommy remarried;
He wasn’t Dave.
He was new Dad.
He came with a family
of new aunts
new uncles
and cousins
and a grandmother

He made doll beds
for his grand-daughters;
beautiful canopy-beds
for Barbie to sleep in,
fit for a Princess.

Grandfather loved to sit
in his rocking chair behind
the high railing of his front
porch, watching traffic pass
by on his busy street while
rocking me
and forth
and forth
with his hand shoved
down my pants

Apparently, Grandfather
liked five-year-old
with canopy-beds,
fit for a Princess

the second fracture


2 thoughts on “SPOTLIGHT: Heirline Fractures by Brenda-Lee Ranta”

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