I cannot remember the shape
of the moon that particular night
but do recall swelter and how
humidity snapped between my fingers.
Pop Pike’s balding head bobbed
above the Kelvinator, carrying
a distinct astronomy in his face,
bifocals clamped firm like a pair of stars.
Granddad Barbee, never to be outdone,
hoisted boxes. He and my dad bickered,
jousting with hand trucks as
grandmothers chirped in the porch swing.
That June’s family ensemble—
a reliable galaxy of nurses,
and backwoods prophets,
mechanics and clumsy magicians—
all assembled assisting our move,
to a smaller house, porch, kitchen.
Mature water oaks and a tin garage
proved two of its few graces,
but all make up my black and white
constellation of faces in the first place
I knew as home, where I fleshed out grace,
and first debates with solitude were prepared.