V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




Marc Chagall's been to visit
my dad a couple of times.

He puts him on a doe-eyed cow
with blue horns and they fly

into sheets hung with night air
of fire and frost. My dad closes

his eyes and hangs on tight. He
hears a violin duet and trumpet

played by an upside down man.
The rooftops are soft as chalk.

It's been a long time since he saw
the fifteen homes of childhood

or the burning, careful leaves
that seem to scatter across

every field. The next morning
my dad thinks he's been watching

commercials. His hands pet
his blanket, his feet twitch

with pleasure.  The aides don't
have any idea my dad takes these

trips. They think the roses blooming
under his jaw are a simple rash.

They think his window to outside
is made of glass.


© by Valerie Wallace


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