Months To Years Winter 2019 Months To Years Winter 2019 - Page 34

We had our biggest blow-up over Minnesota, rather over whether she’d stay there to live out the illness. She was one stubborn sister, Dawn, though she’d prefer the word “determined.” It was her world, her friends, her job, she spat at me while her heart stayed the course, a very rough terrain, until she died.   Meanwhile, we all ganged up on death, the family commuting from Ohio and Colorado to Minnesota. And Bess was learning facts about the heart from Seemore Skinless, a computer character who lived  with us as she learned the lessons of the world, both organ and abstracts, the condition of her mother, Dawn.   Years before, broke and abandoned, Dawn, whose beauty, like all things of beauty, never died, bought a slim-skirted suit and took on the world, arriving full of plans for the new job in Minnesota, her thick brown hair flowing, her eyes and voice alive. Today another voice on my answering machine: “The heart, says Seemore, is five inches round, Aunt Di.” It’s Bess in Colorado with her new parents, as Dawn willed it if she couldn’t live with Bess in this world, if she could only live, as she does, in our hearts. Diane Kendig has worked as poet, writer, translator, editor, and teacher. Her newest of four collections of poems is Prison Terms, and she co-edited the anthology In the Company of Russell Atkins. The re- cipient of two Ohio Arts Council Fellowships in Poetry and a Fulbright award in translation, she has published in journals such as J Journal, Ekphrasis, and Under the Sun. Diane started the creative writing program at The University of Findlay, including a prison workshop that ran for 18 years. She was living in the Boston area when she wrote these poems. She now lives in her childhood home, which her father built in Canton, Ohio when he returned from WWII with money he made selling photos taken from his B-17 tail gunner. She blogs at Home Again and curates the Cuyahoga County Public Library website “Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry.”  34