Dennis Sullivan



While I Was Musing Earlier Tonight
For Charles Giglion

My parents returned in a dream
And asked: How are you, son
It’s been so long since we’ve seen you,
Florrie and Johnny sporting a heavenly glow
Milk-white cups of tea in front of them as always
Addressing the niceties of afterlife
Saying everyone is here
There is no hell
Even Hitler is in heaven,
That God’s heart is greater than life
And forgives everyone
Which I found hard to believe but
I was more interested in their daily life.

They said, son, it’s just like earth,
Look, we’re still drinking tea
My mother sitting in her old familiar housecoat
My father in his Parks Department shirt.
Oddly enough they said no pets allowed
Pets have their own heaven
I said Hitler’s in but not Dusty my old dog?
My mother said he’d get in the way
While Hitler walks around alone
Muttering, no cause for concern
Which gave me cause for concern
I don’t want to go to heaven I said
Maybe there’s an in-between
Without fire and brimstone and loss.

It’s early morning now
And the birds are awake
Singing in my window
I’m ready to sleep
Maybe dream about the dream I had
My mother father looking pretty good
Though issuing forth a complaint
They took away our Social Security!
A condition of seeing God face to face
Who they said is hardly there
Spending more time in the office than
Answering prayers of the sad and confused.
They looked pretty good they did
They both smiled a lot
Filled with the heavenly glow of eternity
Looking like I saw them in my youth.
As they departed my mother took me
By the hand and whispered, son
Be grateful for the simple things in life
Reach for nothing less than heaven’s door.

—June 27, 2013
—4:23 am
—Voorheesville, NY


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