We never knew my father’s relatives, except our grandmother Alyce.
It was three years after my father died when my sister announced
it was my great aunt Laverne on the phone and that I should talk to her.
Vernie, as she liked to be called, explained that they didn’t hear
much from Alyce or Lyle after they moved from Iowa to California,
and that she only knew Lyle as a young boy. I could feel it when he died,
she stated. I stayed silent. She explained that she could usually sense the dead,
that in our family many of the Line surname had this ability,
that her mother Mabel Line Ferry would have casual conversations
with her deceased husband as if he were standing at the end of her bed.
You’ll know when I die, she added. I confessed that my father
comes to me in the bathroom, that the walls speak in ether,
that light makes words in the soft flickering. Words he
would say. I don’t think I described it exactly that way,
but I didn’t need to. So, you have it too, she whispered. Yes.