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Shamrock rehab…

August 17, 2010

What kind of kiss do you like, Papa???

What kind of kiss do you like???

An orange juice kiss,

a shaving cream kiss,

a kiss-that-lasts-all-day kiss…

— in What kind of kiss? by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

When Little Gem was four years old,

I asked her how she would say what a family is…

She told me,

without consulting a text book,

or skipping a beat,

A family is people who grow each other…

When she was two years old,

I asked her why she chose me,

and she said,

I came because you needed someone to love you…

I remember sitting in my father’s house,

after my work day of loving other people’s children,

and my father saying,

while he held Little Gem asleep in his arms,

You have to give up your life when you have kids…

I clearly,

and quickly disagreed,

trying to set him straight,

I wanted my children,

and having them is my life…

We all have our own perspectives on experience,

the beds we make,

how long we want to keep the covers pulled up over our heads,

and whether we want to learn anything from our so called mis-takes…

There’s an Asian woman in my neighbourhood who has said,

as she walks past my house and sees me sitting on the stairs,

of my front porch,

You look like Chinese people…

Your house like Chinese people…

So much money in your house…

I always wonder what she sees,

and what she knows,

that has yet to make itself clear to me…

In the middle of last night I had a lucid dream…

I could hear the sounds of carpentry,

and I followed them with hope pounding in my chest…

I could tell that I was getting closer and closer,

to whom I’d been searching for,

because the sounds were steady…

I walked up to a house,

and walked the path along side,

until I got behind it,

under the back deck…

There was a man standing with his back turned,

beside a white van…

There were wood,

and tools,

organized for an ongoing project of reconstruction…

I gently reached for the man’s arm,

and he turned around…

His face was not what I expected,

as it was that of an Asian man…

His expression revealed a worry,

that I could not read below the surface of things…

And that I may not have remembered that this time,

we were charged with an invisible cultural revolution,

with not one single degree of separation…

He asked me my name,

and I told him…

I asked him his name…

He didn’t answer,

as if his voice had been taken away…

But instead pointed to some print at the edge of the sleeve,

of his golf shirt…

I looked closely and the letters came into focus,

spelling out,



in the last two or three years,

I was sitting with my daughters on our old davenport,

waiting for the school bus to arrive…

It was early,

on a dark winter morning,

and Starshine said,

It feels like a part of our family is missing…

There are times when I drive from my neck of the woods,

thirty minutes east on Highway 1,

for one reason or another,

and the light I am moving toward,

is that of heaven…

In the lake tonight,

as the sun went down,

on those evergreen mountains,

surrounding white pine beach,

the reflections on the water told a story,

of a thousand missing faces…

And there was no where else,

that I wanted to be…

If you're lost I'm right behind...

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