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                                                                                     No. 1 Volume I,  July 31, 2011


Cover| Introduction | Table of Contents | Short Fiction | Poetry |About the Authors


When Your Parents Are Dying

By

Sandra Kolankiewicz

They will pick up the phone
only if they want to.
They will never read this poem.
They have never
read any poem.


I feel sorry for them.
They missed it, their plot
no plan.
Imagine thinking you can just
put your head down,
shuffle forward,
unanticipate the noticeable
creep into what we call
old age, the move from ‘near elderly,’
to ‘there,’ invisible
except to those seeking the ripe
plum shriveling undisturbed
till desiccated,
which is no one.


This is the obvious story:
they thought there would
be more time,
perhaps even some luck,
not so different than you would have been
had you not witnessed
them with your own eyes,
dancing in rags as if a meteor shower
went on forever.


So many choices.
Even the found walk
and talk without meter and rhyme.
The languages
aren’t the languages.
The world tilts:
there we are,
falling off the edge of summer,
holding on only because
the curve of the earth
hasn’t slipped far enough.


Up Butcher’s Hill, on Frank’s
Knob—at the beach,
down town, and by the river—some
sit in the sun or reach their hue
at a salon, even when they can’t pay
for their text books.
They insist
they’re not themselves
if they’re not brown.

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