I lose my
you float away
like sifting sand
tears on glass
hope and grief
on my tongue
like a burden
I miss your bones
your earth possibilities
Copyright Robin Kappy, 1997
On Arch StreetThese bushes in this refuge,
their shiny green leaves,
tiny white/yellow flowers
that smell like honey.
An afternoon returns.
Catching bees with jars,
lids are punctured through--
bees, so available on those blossoms.
Returning home with those critters,
where my father
spanks my butt with a belt for precosity,
Copyright Jon Nalley, 1997
Walking With YouI close my eyes
I see you that summer
Your back towards me
Bright white sand against a cloudless sky
Nestled safely in your sandy seat
You're held captive by the moving images before you.
I hear your laughter in my silence
Your shoulders shrugged in exhilaration
With your arms tensed in your lap
Just as that photo of you as a child
As you grasp the chair's edge
With both strong hands.
Your robe falls gently around my shoulders
A bit long on the cuff
And cool to the touch but still familiar
Alone in the dark
It now shares my side of the bed
Finding myself tangled in its embrace.
In my haste,
I've opened your small grey bag
Unzipped, it opens up like a paper cut
Streaked with toothpaste
And filled with the scent
Of hospital soap and disinfectant.
I search nervously through your shaving regimen
Your semblance of health in the mirror
There pressed against your razors
A small felt medallion of Mary stating "Pray for Us":
Carefully again I place it with the others
And quickly pull the zipper closed.
Copyright Andrew V. Zourides, March 5,1997
TraitorWhen playing, the boy pretends to give me shots
and draw tainted blood. Accompanies each
pantomimed procedure with "Cry now, cry!"
When I lift him from the wheelchair
into his puppy print bed: hospital bars
cage sad eyes. A clipboard hangs like a stone
above his head. Parents, dead before him,
he begs me not to leave. Clenched fingers
harden red around a swatch of white cotton.
His tiny, talcum-scented nails remain affixed
to a handful of my shirt, until I am finally
emancipated by sleep. Something about this
frail body in a room of painted clouds--
the white sheet aglow over his small frame
levitating in the blackness. Tonight,
the wake behind my ferry home resembles
a snow angel with liquid legs turned
outward, melting softly into oblivion.
Copyright S.K. Duff, 1997