You must stop reminiscing at every date.

monica byrne

My wonderful father, at age 76, has won a poetry prize.

Here is the winning poem: “You Must Stop Reminiscing at Every Date,” about my mother. By Donald E. Byrne Jr., published in Red Clay Review, November 2017. Posted with permission.

Read it aloud.

~

We do the annual calendar together:
I read from the little datebook you have kept,
you copy laboriously with magic marker
names and years of births, anniversaries, deaths,

under numbers you can barely see. Each year
our children are born, baptized, confirmed, receive
first penance and first holy communion. Each year
my parents are born, and die. Your friend, Marydee,

her husband Frank, and daughter Julie
die each year of carbon monoxide; Lisa survives,
and is married. Carl dies, a suicide.
We move to Pennsylvania again, and buy

this house. I get my Ph.d. You have
the tumor removed from your brain and lose…

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