She thought she was alone.
My father had left her.
She’d hum in the kitchen—
she thought she was alone—
her song the sound
a needle makes lapping
the innermost groove of an LP,
almost a screech—
she thought she was alone
since dad had left her, leaving behind
some burnt down trees.
read more at District Lit
“My father steps into a field of lost
sensation, sunflowers, a yellow star”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Beth Copeland about her gorgeous poem “Falling Lessons: Erasure One.” The poem is about the loss of her father to Alzheimer’s, and was transformed into the above video for Motionpoems by Ahn Vu (it was also featured on PBS Newshour!)
Read my interview here
A door is alarming, left open. A leaving;
belief that the exited party will memorize
reasons to find you again. And then. When
it happens, what Saturdays. What planned
activities. What woman that rends your
days. What ways you insist that your hair
can be combed and your failings cannot
Looking at photographs of the kids. One of them is going
To college tomorrow. I used to wear that kid like a jacket.
He fell asleep instantly given the slightest chance. School,
The car, even once during a time-out at a basketball game,
Although to be fair he was the point guard and had played
The whole first half and been double-teamed. He could be
Laughing at something and you’d turn away to see a hawk
Or his lissome mom and when you turned back he was out.
But tomorrow he’s in the top bunk in a room far away. We
Will leave the back porch light on for him out of habit and
In the morning we will both notice that it’s still on and one
Of us will cry right into the coffee beans and the other will
Remember that it felt like all the poems we mean when we
Say words like dad and son and love when I slung that boy
Over one shoulder or another or carried him amidships like
A sack of rice or best of all dangling him by his feet so that
All the nickels he put in his pockets for just this eventuality
Poured down like something else we do not have words for.
-Brian Doyle, The Christian Century