When they did their DNA,
Dad traded in his wooden shoes
for a Viking helmet,
but Mom could not trade in
her Black Irish hair
for the auburn that could have been hers
if she’d been born sooner.
His siblings and cousins had been close
when they were children,
but when the patriarch,
who said family was everything,
it proved that he was the everything
that had held the family together.
Dad wore many uniforms,
Mom wore many hats,
but as for me & my brother,
we wore many masks.
When the Irish Catholic met the Roman Catholic,
they had Irish potato gnocchi
& spaghetti with soda bread.
They made it work because,
like many others,
they were all trying to get to the same place—
a gastronomical heaven.
She’d been an idealist before she’d married,
seeing a life of in-laws that were like blood &
double dating with mutual friends,
but when the honeymoon rose again,
his love was all that shone.