Memory Jug

When I die fill

                       my memory jug with things my mother loved.

Leave out her tears, the shivering in the rain.

                            That heart on the silver cross,

keep it,

the scrap she wrote my future name on,

                                     the ink footprints on my

baptismal certificate. But not the bandage

                     from my first stand and step and fall,

her blowing whispers in my ear to see if I

                                     can hear after the fever,

for those are tears 

and this jug has no room for

                                    oceans of such sadnesses

and grief. 

Make room for the things I’ve seen

                                                 clearly in the dark:

a frame of Mifune with sword,

                          E.T. phoning home with a gold

finger

and a happy heart light that beats right here,

                                           Dances With Wolves,

Gone

in 60 Seconds,

    tickets to hand shadow play and future love.

Line the jug with lead to keep

                                    X-rays revealing  true dark. Stash an LSD tattoo

                                            lest I desire a bad trip

far far away from heaven.

                                                 Place the draft card

torn up

on a broken hearing aid.

Put no cancer recovery card, test strips inside.

                                    I am not just my diseases

 and will not cling to their memories.

                                              Be glad I am gone

if that is how you’re bent.

               Remove that one small thing you think

I stole,

replace with a pinch of dirt or ash

   from the graves or urns of those I loved dear,

a wax

seal for this little jug for you of me

                                                            proclaiming a

Thank You

                 God, Mother, Father for creating me.