She needs to eat. She needs
to keep something warm in
her stomach. I reheat rice on the stove,
some cabbage and smoked salmon
and bring it to her in bed.
Like a widow, she chews the end
of a bone already buried. Ignores
the plate. I make her sit up anyways
adjust just before she spits
her last meal into my hands. Warm,
Downstairs in the kitchen
I’ll eat from this plate, the white grains
cold and dead, pinched in my fingers’
tight grip, raised to a mouth
And I’ll try to—no, I will,
I’ll keep it down.
Copyright © 2020 by Charleen McClure. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 1, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
Who would have the sky any color but blue,
Or the grass any color but green?
Or the flowers that bloom the summer through
Of other color or sheen?
How the sunshine gladdens the human heart—
How the sound of the falling rain
Will cause the tender tears to start,
And free the soul from pain.
Oh, this old world is a great old place!
And I love each season’s change,
The river, the brook of purling grace,
The valley, the mountain range.
And when I am called to quit this life,
My feet will not spurn the sod,
Though I leave this world with its beauty rife,—
There’s a glorious one with God!
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 11, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.