Yahrzeit

By Jeremy Nathan Marks

PROMPT — I will not rest until ...

— For Milton Marks


It’s Independence Day Main Street July Fourth in small town Rhode Island I am walking with my grandfather on the anniversary of his death


After the fireworks, hot dogs, median strip painted red, white, and blue everyone shouting Milton! Doc! hail, fellow well met! stopping to chat we walk into a House of Worship and say a prayer together I pray for him and he prays for his many loved ones long passed

may their memories be a blessing


Doc, dentist Pacific War veteran husband father my grandfather

antique and coin collector good citizen who handed out two dollar bills

to small businessmen wishing them luck as they launched their ventures

(he knew that he was one of them) and because he only asked

not to be forgotten


In the worship house are many lights

small bulbs on a wall that are lit

next to the names of his brothers and sisters

his parents and his wife


And I discover that in his foresight

he has paid for bulbs for my father

my mother, my sister, and me


He tells me had I met your wife

and daughters I would have purchased

spots for them too.


Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in London, Ontario, Canada. Recent poetry and prose appear in Unlikely Stories, Bluepepper, Sledgehammer Lit, Ginosko Review, The Pangolin Review, New Verse News, Dissident Voice, 365 Tomorrows, New Reader Magazine, and Every Day Fiction.