"It is the poet's job to remember"
Gerald Stern

Friday, October 9, 2009

In Memory of Steve....

Today is the second anniversary of Steve's death. His family printed a poem written by him as a memorial in The Courier News. Below is the poem...one I had seen in many drafts during the time he wrote it. I share it with you and all of the poet friends who knew him.

(Upon diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma)

By Steven Worowski, March 7, 2006

I was ten years old on a hill slope sled
To cut the thread my penknife slipped
Rust drops became red spots
In white snow from dirty gloved
Squeezed covered thumb
All the way home, raw, hidden, one inch deep
For the sake of a sled left behind
In the fleshy red emergency.
Same year; 1962, Cub Scout Den Mother
Also my birth mother
And nine other boys.
2 causasian, Nick and me.
7 black boys then called "negros"
Greg Vanderveer smacked in the nose
By Tommy Richardson's basketball
Wide brown nostrils became slowly
Flowing crimson spigots.
Our den mother soaked both of her handkerchiefs
Fresh clean, now white, ent brown skin dyed
Summertime scarlett in an instant
1962 - 10 years after the Manhattan Project
Uranium test soil dump site here.
Our unofficial playground
The sun had set in Nevada.
It has set on Bikini Island
In Hiroshima, In Nagasaki.
In tons of soil here remained
Hundreds of pound of memory
With Scarlet life heated just under the sun.
A dull cut. My mother now safe and dead.
Never racist, a miracle she was for that in those years.
1988 - Soil removed in sealed cement bunkers
Dropped 40 miles in North Atlantic Ocean,
Half forgotten, never gone.
There now for future generations
Of Greenland fisheries to
Pull away from their sleds.
Half forgotten, never gone, though some
Of the negro kids are.
Gone skin-popped first, then died watching
ebbs and flows in cool Syringes like
Seasons changing in steely moments
Instead if monotonous grey months.
and now, maybe me - 21st Century Man
With a sample cup to pee in
And still for the sake of a sled.
I bring my bandage to my mother's ghost
in the night. She sighs.
She kisses my forehead.
She whispers I will be alright.
A tumor. A late bloomer. A rumor
The negro kids look up.
Has the Manhattan Project conspired with my spine?