Sunday, May 27, 2007

Uncle Bobby and Billy Collins' Forgetfulness

Dear Uncle Bobby,

Will you be coming to Mom and Dad's 60th Anniversary party? I hope so. You and I always got along so well. A medical doctor, you were always smart and in charge. You were gruff and straight. I liked gruff and straight. I was straight too and I think you liked that. You and Aunt Lillian were so different from Mom and Dad. I wish she had lived, for you surely would have enjoyed 60 years together, loving and fighting all the way.

When the lawyer called to ask me to be your financial guardian she said, "He's such a sweetie." Had she ever met you? You are a lot of things, but sweetie? I don't think so, even now, when what you had for breakfast is hidden under cloud cover. No, not a sweetie but you loved well and you surely loved Aunt Lillian, whose face, I imagine, is still very clear and young in your mind.

The last time you visited our house you enjoyed spending time with our old dog Annie. Now she was a sweetie. You loved dogs. Your medical hands would examine her over and over again. And they would stop in fresh surprise each time you felt the cyst above her right eye. Annie is gone now.

I hope you'll be at the celebration. Sixty years is worth celebrating. But I understand if you can't come because 93 (is that how old you are, I forget) means lots of travel fears, and other fears, like stumbling, and wondering what the name of your wife's sister's daughter is.

With my love,

This poem entitled Forgetfulness was written and read by Billy Collins. The Animation was created by Julian Grey of Headgear.

No comments: