HANGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE

So why should it have been any different
        in death?

In life, a family
entwined at the roots,
shouting, interrupting,
hugging, butting in,
and kissing with a million
kibitz's.

So it wasn't odd that I should be born
on my uncle's birthday, or that
he should die on my father's, or
that my mother should die one month to the day
after her mother had died several years before,
or that my father should marry just one day
before his birthday,
the very same on which
my uncle died.

This was life as a jumble, a racket,
a klezmer band in continuous performance,
jamming together in small Bronx apartments,
a constant embrace of argument and passion,
where "giving each other space"
was a thing of horror


          dead or alive.

June 1990


All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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