Poppa lives on…

Born in 44 toward the end of the war, couldn’t teach an old dog new tricks. When poppa passed on he was only 66. Just like his momma before him, 66. I was born in 88 so 22 when poppa born in 44 passed at 66. 

It was a trick of the trade to silently degrade, giving to the lungs a perpetual downgrade. Smoking like a chimney, the cigarette’s slave. Nicotine clutched at such a young age. Developed the crutch for two packs a day. Meanwhile, I was busy being made. Born into a cloudy world of tobacco stains where I’d post statistics to try and save poppa, sister, brother from some early graves. I’d cough, I’d wheeze, I’d yell like hell and proclaim “you’re killing everyone, why don’t you just quit today?,” and “are you gonna be around on my graduation day?” I’d cough, I’d wheeze, I’d yell like hell. 

The thing I had to realize is that it wasn’t about me. As I grew I was able to be at peace. Even though I knew it was gonna consume every piece — if not him first, then possibly one of my siblings. 

The habit held strong. He didn’t wanna quit. He just dragged, and dragged long. His guitar, I had to grab it to figure out how to externalize these heart songs. Just like a rabbit, he may be outta sight, but not outta mind so I keep it strong. Keep my mind strong. 

Now, this girl bellows below the billowing chimney, where fire has always provided the sweetest symphony. Poppa lives on as I sing from dusk to dawn, and in each verse I pray that my momma, she grows strong. ‘Cause passed on now is her husband; father of 5 of her children. Passed on now are her parents and her baby first born son. Passed on now is her sister, that best friend connection. So as her youngest, what am I to do to reaffirm that they’re not actually gone?

With us, by us, through us move the Blessings from all of our loved ones beyond. 

With us, by us, through us move the Blessings. Move the Blessings. 

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