Rest in Peace
Forsythias come into bloom. Then magnolias.
This is the week it happens.
Early evening – radio drivetime – I
head south on Holton Street.
The ad on the back
of the bus I’m following
is CALL 411-PAIN.
That’s easy to remember!
411 is kind of like 911, and PAIN
The whole bus – for this ad – is a puke pink.
Puke pink 411-PAIN. The bus and I
cross Auer Avenue, where a magnolia
rules the northeast corner.
Timing! The blossoms, the bus, the blossoms…
pink, puke pink, pink.
The tree fades in my rearview.
I still follow the bus, puke pink PAIN for my eyes.
For my ears and tender heart –
drivetime reports of celebrity deaths.
An NBA legend’s son lost at 33,
from asthma. Asthma? With all the drugs they have?
Steroids, non-steroids, inhalers…
On TV, asthma is vanquished. Or at least tamed.
Then, an actor. He was in his eighties –
old enough to go. Notable because,
as the deejay explained, He played
Cousin Itt on the Addams Family.
Rest in Peace, Cousin Itt.
The deejay spoke with respect,
yet you could tell it was fun for him
to say Cousin Itt so solemnly.
Blossoms, a puke pink bus, 411 PAIN
for my eyes. And, for my ears
and sore heart Rest in Peace, Cousin Itt.
It gentled an April afternoon.
About the Author: Sue Blaustein is the author of “In the Field, Autobiography of an Inspector”. Her publication credits and bio can be found at www.sueblaustein.com. Sue retired from the Milwaukee Health Department in 2016, and is an active volunteer. She blogs for ExFabula (“Connecting Milwaukee Through Real Stories”), serves as an interviewer/writer for the “My Life My Story” program at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, and chases insects at the Milwaukee Urban Ecology Center.
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Image Credit: Digitally enhanced illustration from “Annales de la Société royale d’agriculture et de botanique de Gand” Société royale d’agriculture et de botanique,1845-1849. Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Creative Commons License 2.0.