Posts Tagged With: sorrow


The dying couple woke me up again.

They stood before me as they did

In Africa, 1984

In rags and starving

barefoot in the desert.


Dark, haunted eyes


Frying in the heat and sand

Of the Sahara.

Pleading, they hold out

The half dead newborn,

Begging me to save their child,

This tiny life or lifeless life:

If not yet dead

Surely finalized with

The turn of this white woman’s back.

Half my life I still cry

Over that baby.

With each fat pink or tan

Nephew, niece, or grandchild

I remember my child of the desert,

The one I will take with me

 When I too die.

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You call me on Christmas  Day,

When our  turkey is done and resting.

Guests have arrived.  some are seated,

But first I answer the phone

To your cigarette-tough voice

Hurling crap at my ear.   

My brother is gone? Dead?

Two goddam weeks ago?

That was the anniversary of our Mother’s death!

Why did you wait to tell me?  

I don’t care about your daughter ,

Or her girlfriend, or the fight they had that night.

And I don’t care if you believe it was

 Bill’s Last Straw.

 I care about living two weeks never knowing he was gone!

You buried him at sea, just the way he wanted? 

Really?  Without telling me ?

So where do I go to celebrate my brother?

And which part of the Pacific holds him now?

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