Here is a photo of my second son.
He has the same angled ears
as my uncle.
No one has ever said so.
Cousins, aunts, all look at him long and hard
and then don’t say so.
My sister cuts tiny fabric squares,
sews them back together in a quilt.
Her son, younger than mine,
thinks this is crazy. He points
to a blue square, says
“my soccer shirt from last year.”
He smiles as he points,
looking just like his father—
everybody says so. My son wonders
why I don’t quilt, don’t slice
and rearrange ordinary days
we won’t recall into mosaics
that we will. The opposite
of remember, I once read,
is dismember. I am silenced
by the unspoken family pledge:
until we have a body
we cannot say uncle.
Meanwhile, my son picks at his ear,
thinks he looks like no one.
Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Mendeleev’s Mandala (Mayapple Press, 2015), The Insomniac’s Weather Report (Isobar Press, 2014), and the chapbook A Pilgrim’s Guide to Chaos in the Heartland (Concrete Wolf, 2006). Recipient of the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize, she’s had work in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. Her work is being made into a short film by Motionpoems (May 2015). She lives in Japan. You can find her at jessicagoodfellow.com or her blog http://www.jessicagoodfellow.blogspot.com/