Larry Alone       

traditional ‘May Long’
a rediscovery of
pleasures thawing from winter’s stillness
family assembled for hubbub of chores
Papa Grams aunties cousins sister
partners
in-laws
the next generation


Larry and Papa connect water pipes clear cobwebs
some rake leaves others provision pantry
while Gram’s woodstove
revives cottage aromas smoky savory sweet.
chicken dumplings apple crisp


kids shriek finding Chinese checkers
Uno cards favorite books for reading out loud
Which one first Harry Potter James and the Giant Peach

on the deck a chorus
heralds the new season
caw crackle honk buzz chirp


but not this year

Larry’s hasty trip by himself
only essential tasks before back to the city
as family gathers round Papa at the hospital


alone on the roof to clean eaves
Larry’s flashbacks
splashing through whitecaps chasing Papa
the sandcastle


tears trickle
then sobs