The Lives
The Dead
Have Given
The lives the dead have given return in small ways. 
A mother’s wink, a father’s cough back from repose. 
These characters act the parts in my favorite plays.

My mother’s hands folded, she kneels and prays,
her eyes closed tight, she mouths words like final vows. 
The lives the dead have given return in small ways.

Jackson chases fly balls, he’s late for his lesson, but he stays. 
My grandfather burns and curses the game his boy chose, 
these characters act the parts in my favorite plays.

Her upper lip quivers when my daughter says,
tell me the stories your mom told you as a boy. She shows 
the lives the dead have given return in small ways.

Our son holds words like charms, magic he seldom sprays. 
He waves a hand, shakes his head or winks like he knows 
these characters act the parts in my favorite plays.

I hear echoes of voices I love, the child in me obeys
to face the faces, listen to the players and suppose
lives the dead have given return in small ways.
These characters act the parts in my favorite plays.