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Councilmember Nick Licata
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"Words' Worth" Poetry Readings

Poets at the Culture, Arts, and Parks Committee of the Seattle City Council.

uncle Tall twin by Tracie D. Hall

but on a tuesday
a small day
an inconsequential day of the week
saying nothing about hope for new beginnings
nor the weariness of endings all the same
i will think of you
just as i think of you now--
sitting grinning on the porch
rubbing the gritty edge of a shiny quarter
between your index finger and your thumb
i will think of all the cherry soda
drank in your company at your expense
the gleam in your eye anticipating
my belched appreciation
the way you never turned your head disapprovingly to the side
when in my eagerness i answered the door
dressed in grandma's slip with hair uncombed
and the way you always said yes, yes
when i offered you what in another life
would pass for something edible
and when everyone else made it known that my childhood opinions
were not welcome in a living room full of grown-up problems
you would run your hand quickly over my head as i quietly exited
and before you left the house each time
you'd call me to the screen door and way in a voice that sounded sincere
and i remember waiting in the back of your station wagon
while bessie handed out her medi-cal stickers
in exchange for another painless week
and me interrupting you reading the paper
to ask if you could change the radio station whenever a song i didn't like came on
doing it so much i could see you were getting tired
and you saying it wasn't any bother at all
and i remember you taking an extra long time to sit and talk with the children
on holidays when we were consigned to the kitchen table
while the adults ate in the dining room
and even in those days when i really didn't have anything important to say
(at least i don't think i did)
i remember feeling that though i was yet young i was important to you
and it made me feel good
when you asked about my school work or my thoughts about the weather
and patiently listened through my rambling and exhaustive accounts of fifth grade life
-- and you know
it is hard to believe that this is how it ends
that after everything, this is the way it ends
that your kindness did not render you immortal
but on another day
a small day
a day which exists in between the days that create the years
i will remember you
i will remember youth
and i will remember always to remember

This page was last updated: January 8, 2000
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