Death and Heaven
By Jenn Rubi

The world 90 mph and he asks "Nervous Jenn?"
Every time driving too fast in cars
I remember my father.
A young, strong Navy veteran,
obsidian eyed, dark hair 70's cut,
Chuck Mangione mustache over big smile,
impulsive humor,
small belly of junk food and alcohol,
hard large feet walking on linoleum.
Waiting for him to come home one night,
my Mom crying when she told us he wasn't.
Pulling up at a church in a fancy car,
hundreds of people standing around.
I overheard them talking
speculations of decapitation, speculations of suicide.
I guess they thought I was too young to understand them.
A priest in white gown
over what was supposed to be my father;
a baby blue coffin, covered with flowers,
being lowered into the ground.
I pictured the crust of dry blood
almost black with death,
splintered glass, a San Francisco street,
the red pickup truck
he'd pretend to let me drive while in his lap,
and wondered if he missed us that night on his way home.
Father's day cards, Valentines, I made at school,
sunbleached construction paper
withering away by the grandfather clock,
my Mom trying to help young children to understand
death and heaven.
The name FRANK RUBI jr.,
still leaves me quivering with a memory of it
on mildewed obituaries, coroner's reports,
and police records.
Hidden documents I forced myself to read age 13.
To think even his death is questionable,
that it was no accident influenced by wine?
His 15 minutes of fame
a car accident on the evening news.
Who then would be surprised
it could prophesy his children,
war in the mind,
the oldest a statistic age 17,
each day a new survival.


Jenn Rubi is a disillusioned 27 year old artist, and NY style pizza cook with an insatiable hunger for passion. Since first submitting her poetry for publication in May, she has had the priviledge of appearing in Unlikely Stories, Outsider Ink, Poetry Super highway, Spoken War, and Poet's Cut.


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