We sat in near silence â€“ your mother in a creaky rocker, and I, in a hard backed, cushioned chair. Sunlight fell from a window and held a frenzy of dust flakes. It was a Sunday, ten years since that Sunday in May.Â We smiled at each other, fiddled our fingers, avoided each otherâ€™s gaze.Â Your high school photo, framed in gold,Â watchedÂ us from the mantle: the same picture from the newspaper. Your mother asked about my wife, our lives in the city. How long would I be in town? She spoke of people whose names I could no longer put faces to and confessed that she still searched the wanted ads for jobs she thought you wouldâ€™ve been good at. â€œI still canâ€™t bring myself to buy cucumbers. He loved them.â€ She never mentioned the car accident, or how she had blamed me for your drinking again, and I never told her about that night, after you died, how you visited me and we sat together until morning.
~ Jason Irwin
Jason Irwin grew up in Dunkirk, NY and now lives in Pittsburgh,Â PA.Â Â Watering the Dead, his first full-length collection, won the 2006/2007 Transcontinental Poetry Award and was published in 2008 by Pavement SawÂ Press. Some Days It’s A Love Story won the 2005 SlipstreamÂ Press Chapbook Prize.Â Most recently his work has been published or will soon be published inÂ Sliver of Stone, Poetry East,Â &Â Future Cycle Pressâ€™ anthology American Society: What Poets See.Â
Artwork: Puppet,Â by Hashim Ali