Semi Tiresias

by Bill Yarrow

I knew my mother would die by the weekend
when she declined to answer my questions
about her parents or her youth

I knew my uncle would die a pauper
when he grew obsessed
with drafting a will

I knew my grandmother was becoming senile
when she lost her appetite
for playing cards

I knew my father was irreversibly old
when he crashed into a mail truck
trying to turn into our drive

I knew America would be a colony again
when it forsook consensus
for impasse