• leaflet

    . . .a thin triangular flap of a heart valve. . . a small book usually having a paper cover . . . a medical lit-art e-journal from The Permanente Press
  • 1

Lifeboat

Poetry, Volume 2; Issue 2

Dad ponders family photos 
Wondering 
If he ever knew those people 
They look so familiar … 
A catch in his breath as 
He knows he is missing 
Something

His blue-veined hands 
With inflamed knuckles
Submit to new love Mildred, 
Respond to orders
As she recounts

Childhood memories 
Clear as yesterday, 
Through her lungs, 
Trachea, larynx,
Throat and lips
Over and over 
And over, 
And again.

“Take some tea,” she insists, 
Over and over 
And over 
And again,
Though my cup sits full.
“No, thank you,” I say.
“No, thank you,” I persist,
Until her anger surges
And she spews,
“Get out!”

Together they cling,
A tottering raft in roiling waters
Dad’s eyes scan the horizon, 
Anticipating trouble

But his concerns drown 
In her persistent screams 
To ignore my circling
Lifeboat

Papers accumulate, 
Circulate
Junk mail and bills
Magazines and wills
Mounds of pulp treasured
Like garrisoned cargo.

Navigating the world with 
A rusty compass—stuck 
The pointer heading out to sea 
And over and over 
And over the
Edge.

They lean on each other 
Entwined love
Brittle bodies
Where together they once had a 
Full brain
They have less now

Yet she carries enough 
Defiance for them both
Enough to last a life
Time
It is running 
Over and over and 
Over and

Out

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