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  • Family Reunion, 1993, and: To the Green Polka Dot Muumuu My Mother Loved to See Her Mother Wear
  • L. Lamar Wilson (bio)

Family Reunion, 1993

When I am asked whose tears these are, I always blame the moon.

—Lucille Clifton

I give my cousin my hand & thinkof the year before, how he'd held me aloft,

bicep pulsing against the weightof my bones & adoration. Can I get it

by touching him? I wonder but don't speak,don't let go until his slick flesh kisses

the commode, then trace curlicues & starsinto my stucco canvas amid his grunts & sighs,

stare at the moon I've made there as full of itselfas the one that had shone on us at the reunion,

our mothers in orbit around us in their own groovewith Frankie Beverly. I'm flying! I had beamed

at myself, gilded in his tooth: the onlyshimmering thing in this dark, damp silence.

To the Green Polka Dot Muumuu My Mother Loved to See Her Mother Wear

May you have cooled her while she dashed abouta too-hot kitchen full of children & long-gone children's children

May you have hugged her close, dodging thatno-good too-sweet have-mercy fine drunk of a man

waiting at the head of their table, who made her a homewith his hands, gave her these children &

took in those he did not give, the youngest,prettiest, not his own blood but his, all his,

this stoic & stately girl you filledwith gutstillness, how you rocked her

when the grandchild younever knew lay shivering, helpless

May you know when this baby girl escapedher baby boy's gasping to do what she could,

she found you, your musty, stew-caked,bloody self, waiting, across the years

May you cherish the exultations you heard& felt when you did all the mothering her dust

in some lonely overgrown plot could notwhen you resurrected her & we all rejoiced [End Page 238]

L. Lamar Wilson

L. Lamar Wilson is the author of Sacreligion (Carolina Wren, 2013) and a doctoral fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill. Recent poems have appeared in Callaloo, jubilat, and Los Angeles Review.



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