Due to the Crazy Magic
Due to the crazy magic of stellar dust communiqués
I meet my mother’s mother, gone twenty years
before I was born, when my own mother was but a teen
playing arias from Rigoletto in the Great Operas tome
her mother, barely speaking English, gumptioned out
to buy for her, my mother’s tears drenching the keys
as she tries to send comfort from the hallway piano
up the stairs to her slowly dying mother.
Years later my father finds my mother and they unlock me.
I pay the favor forward to my progeny,
wound like clocks, all of us, in our slow hastening.
Yet here I am, cast in the guise of a child
sitting on the edge of my grandmother’s bed,
my mother sitting on the other side describing
my father’s way of courting her. My grandmother
laughs so hard she flushes crimson—I see it,
I who in a sense am not yet born, bubbles of begats
rising and tickling her like champagne.
Charlene Fix teaches literature and writing at Columbus College of Art and Design. She is a member of The House of Toast Poets, a workshop and performance group, and is co-coordinator of Hospital Poets at The Ohio State University. She has written several collections of poems: Mischief (Pudding House 2002), Flowering Bruno: A Dography (XOXOX Press 2006), Greatest Hits (Kattywompus Press 2011), Frankenstein’s Flowers (CW Books 2014), and a critical study of Harpo Marx in the thirteen Marx Brothers’ films, Harpo Marx as Trickster (McFarland 2013).
Photo ©Joanne Warfield