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You, my friend, who died in battle,        can’t remember How your breath became a rattle,       then, more slender, Changed to prayer. What syllables       were left to say, What could be brought to . . . . Continue Reading »

Drop-off Day

Make sure you give yourself a chance to grieve, A parent handout helpfully suggests. My last one’s gone; I thought she’d never leave. Children at this stage in life are guests who have outstayed their welcome. Why deceive myself, pretend I’m sad when empty nests are full of . . . . Continue Reading »

With the Bath Water

When data started to accumulate, we didn’t think the end would be so tragic. Facts were such fun, we could eliminate non-facts. And so we threw away the magic, the charms, the spells, the powers that removed all obstacles, the sacred images that won our wars, brought lover to beloved. Then we . . . . Continue Reading »


Men and women should be gentler with one another; what was it my godmother used to say? Painfully tender. Men and women should arrive and depart together and without flourish or flattery—just some small banter. These aren’t the gentlefolk you might remember hearing of I’m describing; . . . . Continue Reading »


To land in a story whose end I do not know— as if we ever saw to any end: I try to keep my balance, high and low. The sliver of this moon, discreet and new— Waxing? Waning? I forget. They blend in a sky whose limits we don’t know. . . . . Continue Reading »

Intensive Care

Through her final hour he gently clasps the icy silence of her pallid hand, her plea to keep him close. She stirs and gasps. The end is near. He doesn’t understand. Inside the room the beeping grows intense. . . . . Continue Reading »

October 27

You know what I remember first about my daughter being born? Weirdly, not the miracle of it, or the bruised tender extraordinary Courage of my wife, or the eerie alien glare of the birthing room, Or the cheerful doctor chatting amiably as she hauled out our girl, But my daughter staring at me, from . . . . Continue Reading »


Each year I shroud them in their bubble wrap, The kings next to the shepherds and their sheep. The donkey’s head lies in Melchior’s lap; I settle them for their long winter’s . . . . Continue Reading »

What's in a Name?

A paralyzing gelid vortex of a January morning. He lay under the covers as the beckoning New Year’s sun began to manifest itself through the curtains of his bedroom window, but unlike the busy old sun unwilling to rise up and begin the day. His better half, it must be said, was already dressed . . . . Continue Reading »

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