Kyle McCord

In Germany

When my father called,
I felt remorseful
for not calling my father.
He sounded calm
as he always sounds.
It may be some link in the chain
binding us to ensure
we understand
how to care for each other.
I mean how to call each other
with the regularity necessary.
He is a good father
and also good at calling.
Last week, two demoniacs spun
in opposite circles at the circus.
My head was swimming,
and I wanted to call but
Michael wanted pancakes,
and I wanted pancakes.
I told my father all of this
because what else do I have?
In Germany, there are researchers
dedicated to reconstructing
files from the Stazi headquarters.
After the shredders broke,
the Stazi worked night and day
tearing files by hand
for three months
before the wall came down.
Imagine this:
sometimes the researchers
piece together a shred,
and there is an observation
of their mother on the couch
unwinding a lamp chord, say,
dusting off the table top,
while the record is skipping.
And the son or daughter
becomes the officer for a second,
retyping the orderliness
of the mother
in the entry log.
I want to tell you all
what this means,
but I canít stop
imagining a woman
calling her mother
describing a day:
November 5th 1976
when her mother unwound
a lamp chord, dusted off a table.
The mother soaked in a tub.
She stared a long time
at someone ringing the bell outside.
And in the November
snow, she could make out
the coat of her daughter,
as she rang the bell over and over,
awaiting the motherís voice.

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