I always called you collect

My little girl voice announcing myself as

Crystal Gayle or Barbara Mandrell, your favorites

You danced me around the tree

In a cowboy bar and cheered

When I climbed onstage and sang

My heart’s on fire, Elvira

Like you taught me

Long car rides on your lap

Stealing sips of your Michelob, singing

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

Conducting parades through the forest

While you chopped wood and hunted rocks

Spanish music in the mornings

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

Hatch green chile and root beer floats

Running through a wet deserted Disneyland

In our cheap plastic ponchos, laughing

Phoenix Suns playoff games and you

Always cheating at dirty marbles


I have a million treasured memories

That dementia stole from you

I’ll remember them all with love and a smile

For both of us


Copyright 2020, all rights reserved. All images taken by me unless otherwise stated.

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