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Tag: family member poems

Sitting with my father at age 89

He lies in the hospital bed,
the subject of barrier nursing,
looks at his fingers, and says:
Fingers! Figures! There’s a lot of figures about!
He slowly puts his fingers into prayer position,
his hands tortuously enacting transfingeration.

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Anatomy

I find him sitting
in the midst of his fellow residents
in the dining room
that doubles as an activity space.

His eyes are fixed
on the TV screen
that has a photo

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Portrait of My Father

…the son of a ragman

Half-tilt at a stack of 78’s looking for a gem
For Nina, for Dinah, for Phineas Newborn
For Monk

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Wreckage

It must have come in a hurry
on a ship of pain, breaching
the weak seawall of her lungs.
The tumor, split from its moorings, set adrift.

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Earth to Earth

You would have loved the simple maple box.
Corners smoothed and lid sealed tight,
we haven’t tried to pry it open yet.
It weighs more than I would have guessed,

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Blue Book

Days before she died

my mother stood in line,

took a picture for a passport—

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Early Morning. Again

I sit on the sofa,
alone in the sunroom,
stirring a cup of mocha-coffee,

Soon it turns cold.
Your mother’s quilt, an heirloom
pulled off our bed,

wraps my shoulders.
The corner touching my cheek
is soaked in wild grief,

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Invasive

I never grew Virginia creeper,
this twining shiny vine rapidly
unfurling its five-leafed bouquet,
yet it crept into my garden, stealthily
wrapping its strong tendrils round
stems and bushes and trees
in lusty demanding embrace,
attaching onto the house foundation,
embedding into cement and wood.

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Gabriel

Karen Ross ~

The new parents,
both rabbis,
have dark circles
under their eyes.

Instead of davening
with prayer shawl,
at each sunrise,
they are drowned
in diapers and breast milk.
Or maybe the drowning
in diapers and breast milk
is the prayer.

Their newborn was created in a lab,
with life cells engineered
by white-coated scientists.
The miracle

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