Relatives

Last week because of the internet
my mother’s second cousin found me.
Once we’d met, in 1959 when I
was a child and she was at NYU.
We remembered one another.
Happily familiar she told me in
a sentence or two What Happened.

I know very little about my own history.
Family stories are largely myths
and mine was told mostly by my
mother’s mother,
Anna Sorocer from Baku Rumania.
She married Shmuel Markovitz.
(my second cousin’s relative)
Shmuel became Sam Marcks from
Grand Forks, North Dakota. Really.
They married when she was 16.
She said they didn’t have
too much in common, and then,
they had 4 kids in Grand Forks.
Shmuel died young. My grandmother
lived with us in Ansonia Connecticut
until I was 6. One day my Uncle Alex
picked her up in a big gold cadillac.
She was packed. They moved to
Los Angeles and she lived
next door to Rosemary Clooney’s
mother. She had girlfriends
and ate a different ice cream
flavors. Once a week she wrote
us letters. They always contained
a weather report. It was usually sunny
in LA. I saved her letters
for years. She’d end each letter
the very same way:
Take care of one another
because life (she told us
over and over again)
because life is a dream.

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