All the important stuff that happened–
your birth in a toilet bowl as Reality said,
“Get to business, Thurm, swim!”

The seriousness
of losing your mom
who you couldn’t remember,
of not being cared for by your dad
and stepmom, the loving arm relief
you found in grandparents

How you did your jobs as a teen

You drove Grandma in a coal truck
to the prom, attracted her by
decorating your Model A
with polka dots

Billowing signposts that
should be marked by heralds
birds holding words on
floating ribbons unfurling
into filigree wallpaper scene

You and Grandma atop an elopement cake
the amazingness that you had children–
were you amazed? And then all the
policies you adeptly enacted for them,
the children, the adopted children
and the cousins taken in–
folding napkins for this one
putting silverware in order for another
the steamy comforting clatter from
warm yellow lit kitchen crescendo-ing
cymbals pacing domestic scene

Not enough room for all the family?
You built your own house, and
added on additions

Ideas that came via some kind of
hard work and grace to help your hep
with coworkers, bosses, underlings–
“How to Use Humor to Help the Team”

Learn lesson, apply knowledge
when necessary

Daily reports to bosses on a typewriter
written with amusement, the intelligence
of the clatter and splash of type…

You dropped out of high school
and got your education via the font of
civilization–the Cleveland Plain Dealer–
and experience

Cognitive therapy for family members
via example of your memoir–
typesetting the nuts and bolts of it

You wrote about your mistakes
(few though they were)
that would make you
smoke a cigarette in shame–
but this was good, Grandpa
and I left the burrs in,
the things we wouldn’t say now
because Mind has progressed
in some ways

I want people to know
have them see the light through thicket
know the good though the rough

The polishing of your promise
the possibilities for anyone
everyone and all

~ Lady

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