Mary Makofske: “When the Mind Slips from Us”




When the mind slips from us before we slip
from the world, no remedy can cure us.
Surgery, fine to replace a gimpy hip
or knee, offers no replacement parts to truss
our bridge to the past. Pray for luck to go
gentle into that gathering dusk, not
raging at loved ones we no longer know.
May we recall how to smile, sing, foxtrot
even as the living vanish to make
room for the dead. May we bite our tongues
on confessions better left unsaid, mistakes
we merely imagined, unrighted wrongs.
Give us our daily bread, the gift
of mercy as we sift through what is left.



Mary Makofske’s latest books are The Gambler’s Daughter (chapbook, The Orchard Street Press, 2022); World Enough, and Time (Kelsay, 2017); and Traction (Ashland Poetry, 2011), winner of the Richard Snyder Prize. No Angels is forthcoming from Kelsay Press in 2023. Her poems have appeared in 60 journals including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Poetry East, American Journal of Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, Talking River Review, and in 20 anthologies.

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