Old Acquaintance

You surprise me, knocking on my door after 15 years,
but I recognize that face behind the mask instantly.
The last time was your dad’s funeral, your parents
and mine so close I called him Uncle Al.
I remember when your husband said Al was
“a bucket of fuckin’ nuts,” and how that offended me.

I assure you there’s no need for masks, then we sit for coffee.
You’re here to help your daughter move into your old home,
tell me she’s been hired by the UH Music Dept.
I ask about your other daughter, and then, of course, David.
Without hesitation you tell me that you’re newly divorced,
in fact, you’re moving back home, too, after you pack
up your East Coast home, and you’ll be living upstairs
in Mānoa, your daughter preferring the downstairs.
I blurt out that I hope this won’t cramp your love life.

As you’re leaving you spot the piano, ask if you may play it.
I used to love listening to you whenever we had family parties,
I love listening to you now as well, and when you stand up
to look through my mother’s music collection in the bench,
I remember your wedding and how I jammed the bachelors’ group,
not to catch the garter but to catch one last glimpse of those legs.
“Wow, these are some great oldies,” you say, looking at me,
“I think I’ll have to come borrow a few of these after I get back.”
My heart starts beating like a coronary coming, I hope you know CPR,
and I strongly encourage you to come get them as soon as you can.

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