• 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
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Passengers

Poetry, Volume 2; Issue 2

--For my mother  
--Irma McMahon Kelly; 1913-2003   

My father and I linger in the belly 
of a van. Staring into dense laurel 
I tell him, This could be her last night. 

I know, he replies. Streetlights spill 
slender light, the van’s engine 
shudders, waiting.   

Without warning,

I am set loose in 1955
onto a thumb of land between lake and bay.
Dad owns the steering wheel.

The shiny cone of our ’51 Studebaker glides
through a Wisconsin night. We have just seen
“Carousel” at the drive-in theater. Windows

welcome night air. Mom threads her arms
into a sweater and I hum between two dozing 
brothers. When the car slows, rolls to a stop,

our legs wrestle wool seats and we spring up, 
car rules suspended. Flying—through our wide
beam of light—Frogs! Leaping, landing. Leaping,

landing. Hundreds! Dad bellows. A circus,
Mom laughs. We are crazy with this caper,
hopping, hooting, clapping. Buoyant,
we are family, dancing with frogs.

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