Tuesday, March 17, 2015

If Heaven Exists

If Heaven exists, it has baklava,
and video game theme music played by Lindsey Stirling.
It has long tables with comfortable chairs, 
so all of you, my friends and chosen family
can be together at the tables,
laughing, sharing, jabbering away 
like a flock of drunken seagulls.

All of us would take turns reading bad poetry 
and sketching one another in a huge 
orgy of half-baked art. The background music
would be cutlery and glassware clinking and rattling
with a side of white noise from the air conditioners
blast-chilling us into near-hibernation.

Heaven would have both my daughters, all my grandchildren
and all the people they love and care about
and all the people who love and care about them all together
like the kind of family reunion that takes place only after funerals,
with kids playing on the floor in the first bedroom past the stairs,
Lite Brite pegs and Lego blocks serving as caltrops,
to keep the grownups at bay.

Adults slamming back weak lemonade and sweet tea, 
sampling the casseroles, while all talking over one another 
in a babble of "You look great!" and 
"Didn't the funeral home do a great job 
making (the deceased) look natural?" 

Heaven would have porch swings with creaking chains, 
and lots of webbed lawn chairs, including the rocking kind. 
Your rear gets swallowed whole by the loose webbing
like a boa devours a baby water buffalo, 
so you shift and wriggle, trying to break free.

Heaven would have tricycles, and Big Wheels, and spring horses, 
wagons and skateboards, and old-fashioned skates 
with butterfly nuts and sliding metal grips. 
It would have swing sets with the four-seater gliders, 
and the skin-the-cat bars and the too-short slide.
And the kids file out the door into the back yard 
in a slow-flowing stream, like the one they used to hunt crawdads in.

Heaven would have a piano, where my aunt Jane, 
just a few years older than me, would be playing Fuer Elise. 
Other cousins would be playing recorders 
or tambourines, or wax harmonicas.

Heaven would have all my friends, 
all the people I have met over the years.
My grandmother would still be alive, 
and my friend Brenda's father, JR.
Most of all, my Great Aunt Ressie would still be telling all her tales, 
and wagging her finger in some too-arrogant man's face.
My daughter Jordan would be there as well, 
climbing whatever was taller than a table.

And we would all stay up all night, 
turning marshmallows into torches 
and waving sparklers at the moon.
~Jack V. Sage