V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




When I told my friend from college that my son
was autistic, she said, “Why, that’s wonderful.  Does
he paint or draw?”  And my mother, at eighty-nine,
still tries to hold on, keep the thin thread
of cognition wound around her finger,
but can’t find her words:  “You know what I mean,”
she tells me, “It’s that thing that goes with the wash.”
I play along, use Twenty Questions:  “Large or small
box?  Solid or Liquid?” until I find out she’s talking
about dryer sheets.  Then there’s that game
that used to appear in the Sunday papers,
where you changed one letter at a time
to create a new word at the end.  So dime
becomes dome becomes tome becomes tomb.
So the afternoon leaks its light out, a letter at a time.


© by Barbara Crooker


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