In my dreams I wandered the alleys of Lisbon searching for a familiar face, and many came close, but no man stopped me and asked if I was, by chance his son, for he dreamed I was what a son of his would look like.
Now I have no need to wander for I know he is in a military cemetery in Burlington, New Jersey, and I doubt he had any idea in life he had another son, or a daughter in Italy, for weekends were quickly passed when you had to be back at the base by midnight on Sunday.
It’s Sunday, so I know, before long
I will have the nagging thought
that I should call my mother.
I’ve had this thought for years,
once acted upon it with regularity,
listened patiently for her weekly
list of things I needed to help her with,
since I never visited to do the work
with her standing over my shoulder.
I stopped the calls four years ago
because the dead make few demands,
and she didn’t bother to answer
except in the darkest hour
of my dreams.
Even as a young child I imagined being a lawyer was a noble profession, spent Sunday evenings in front of the old Motorola TV watching Perry Mason stride up to the rail, stare into the witness’ eyes, with Paul Drake smiling in the first row. I tried to make my younger brother play Paul but he was surly even at five and said it was Hamilton Berger or nothing. He never did get that Burger never won a case, and the moment I came to the real that realization, I knew when it came to play acting in my world it was the perfect role for my brother. I’ve retired from practicing law now, never tried a criminal case anyway, and years ago gave up seeking anyone quite like Della Street.
It is Sunday we sit in the living room each with our lattes she brushing the cat. I sat on the sofa with the Sunday Times. We are listening to radio Hele Norge, unsure why, the Norwegian caroming around our ears, the speakers noticing nothing different. We’re not quite sure how the weather is in Lillehammer today, but it’s sunny here. Neither of us pauses to wonder what Archimedes would make of it all.