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Category: Family

POEM: Reports Of My Death

Reports Of My Death
(for Owen)

I will most likely die
many years before you.
On some days that makes me sad.

This morning I leaned back
in my easy chair listening to
American Beauty;

46 & finally becoming a Deadhead,
years after my high school classmates
wore tie-dyes and Birks.

This afternoon I thought about your life
after me. Who you might meet next.
What people will say.

“Oh he was a lot older so they both knew
this was coming. But they were happy
while it lasted.”

On some days I worry that you
might die before me.
That is infinitely sadder.

/ / /

Jason Crane
1 May 2020
Tucson, AZ

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POEM: Abstention


If, right now, they were to die,
I would not attend the funeral.
Already I hear the muttering of cousins,
the sotto voce accusations.
The time has come to stop keeping up appearances.
Let others mourn; I did my crying as a child.
I felt the sting & dreamed of death
both given & received.
I hid a mountain of dirt beneath my clothes.
Those who knew them less well
can toss handfuls into their darkness.

/ / /

Jason Crane
9 February 2020
State College PA

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POEM: At night I think about my kids

At night I think about my kids

Not just at night, of course, but it’s then
that two thousand miles feels like an un-
crossable gulf; a promise bent to breaking.
Two weeks after I move I’ll miss a birthday.
Two months later it’s graduation.
I can hear it in their mother’s voice:
“To Tucson?” she asks, even though she knows.
I’ll get back when I can. Bring them out
when they want to come & I can afford it.
This’ll feel better in the morning,
but it’ll never feel good.

/ / /

Jason Crane
27 January 2020
State College PA

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POEM: ex post facto

ex post facto

it took him years
to understand what happened

how she was always ready
to withdraw her love from her ungrateful child

is this the thanks I get?
is this how you repay me?

he hadn’t realized
everything was a transaction

another item in a ledger
carefully tallied, always in the red

how owed before his first breath
she was there, waiting to collect

/ / /

Jason Crane
7 November 2019
State College PA

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POEM: pocket knife

pocket knife

when I was young
        I planned out how to kill him
        if he ever hit me again

when I got older
        I tried to forgive
        if not forget

when I became a father
        the wind blew his ember into
        my dry kindling; it caught

when I went home
        the past chased me, yelling,
        into their newly remodeled kitchen

when I drove away
        I cut all ties using
        the knife I always keep in my pocket


Jason Crane
21 October 2019
State College PA

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