by Weston Morrow
“You have died…”
– Colossians 3:3
– Oregon Trail, the video game
All my ghosts come back,
dying slowly, smoking cigarettes
and speaking French. Even the cats,
dead this past decade (hawk, car, diabetes)
have returned to sleep, curled up
in the crook of my knee. And the coyotes
my dad killed last winter tuck their chins
before the fireplace. Grandma, Grandpa,
Uncle Weston (cancer, cancer, cancer).
By grace, I have been saved
from dish duty, my mother
waving me over to the living room.
For the first time in years,
the whole family is here and
I’m remembering how to be happy,
outwardly, to see them.
My brother quotes Camus,
and mother doesn’t like it, says it’s morbid
to make light of death. But c’est la vie.
I leave them all downstairs, go up
to the computer room. I boot my old game
and watch the pixelated oxen
crawl across the screen, pulling me,
the wagon, all my tobacco
and ammunition, out the long and
treacherous path to Washington, the nineties.
I write the name of every dead family member
in my wagon, hit enter, try to see
how each of us will die this time.
Weston Morrow is a poet and former print journalist with an MFA from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. His recent poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, Meridian, The Journal, and elsewhere. His visual art has appeared in Ninth Letter. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and can be found online at www.westonmorrow.com.