Voices on the Wind Voices from Home
Sepia by Mark Vogel Zoom in to the retiree manor, a white-haired Mother on her patio reading in a sun that gently reaches inside to walls lined with photos. See first herself at 17 squeezing her favorite dog. Alongside, a foot higher, her aproned mother holds a peach pie. To the side, a fresh family focuses on a glazed brown turkey, while below, husband Mel stands tall, back to life, dwarfed by smooth granite—Elephant Rocks State Park. Pictures also crowd the hallway: shy Mother holds hands with lover dad with his honey-moon eyes, next to boring-like-oatmeal Midwestern relatives lined up short-to-tall. Nearby, a seven year old grandson shoulders a baseball bat, and readies to grow six feet tall. Above, long gone grandparents are frozen formal, beside a regal granddaughter who stares down a strutting goose. A bathroom’s sordid evidence refuses to hide—drug-addled Leon pale in bell-bottoms, and ranger Bruce, crafted stiff, with his hat arranged just so, next to flamer Dennis, before anyone knew. Alongside, Georgia grins at baby Erin, who ended her mother’s cheerleading career. All in all, nothing else needs to be shown—except maybe a portrait in drifting quilted dream—the quiet patio crowded with tomatoes and petunias, framing a mother still-life with closed eyes. She is immersed in a farm kitchen with cats that crowd at fresh milk. Nearby is a barn where six married pigeon pairs in dusty light rise slowly from the loft. Mother is startled awake by a call from six hundred miles away—Georgia worried today sneaks in the end—too well aware how Central Standard Time shifted long ago from pattern, and began to tick in stops and starts.