RITES OF MAY

The RITES OF MAY
to Don DeLillo

The tail end of a violent semester
parents rush in with their Suburbans
a mixed bag of doubled emotions

Living next to Brown I see
the flying styrofoam pitched by mother
in a pique of anger.  The Chinese doctor

beside her fares no better, Pacman
mattress strapped onto his New York beemer.
Battered chairs, resculpted fans

twisted bike frames blind, without eyes
crutches, messy Amazon boxes; wait –
Is this Lourdes?  Against a wall
heaps of discarded crutches – the plagued can walk!

Oh, the disarray of time, the leap
from melancholy autumn, sentimental
goodbyes amidst the burnished elms.

Separation then seemed so stark; turns out
(frat boys belch while pretending to help)
shedding wasn’t forever.

Relief!  My own sassy, long-haired girls
are heading home – and with curated
transition will settle in.

It isn’t “Sunrise, Sunset” which I played
on the black and white upright at nine
feeling sorry for the parents bereft

It’s refeathering – the kids are moving
back in.

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