Poetry, Volume 2; Issue 2

Dad ponders family photos
If he ever knew those people
They look so familiar …
A catch in his breath as
He knows he is missing

His blue-veined hands 
With inflamed knuckles
Submit to new love Mildred, 
Respond to orders
As she recounts

Childhood memories 
Clear as yesterday, 
Through her lungs, 
Trachea, larynx,
Throat and lips
Over and over 
And over, 
And again.

“Take some tea,” she insists, 
Over and over 
And over 
And again,
Though my cup sits full.
“No, thank you,” I say.
“No, thank you,” I persist,
Until her anger surges
And she spews,
“Get out!”

Together they cling,
A tottering raft in roiling waters
Dad’s eyes scan the horizon, 
Anticipating trouble

But his concerns drown 
In her persistent screams 
To ignore my circling

Papers accumulate, 
Junk mail and bills
Magazines and wills
Mounds of pulp treasured
Like garrisoned cargo.

Navigating the world with 
A rusty compass—stuck 
The pointer heading out to sea 
And over and over 
And over the

They lean on each other 
Entwined love
Brittle bodies
Where together they once had a 
Full brain
They have less now

Yet she carries enough 
Defiance for them both
Enough to last a life
It is running 
Over and over and 
Over and


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