Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Father

The memory of my father is wrapped up in
white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work.

Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits
out of his hat, he drew love from his small body,

and the rivers of his hands
overflowed with good deeds. 

- Yehuda Amichai

Monday, January 07, 2013

A Memory

We were chatting
and suddenly stopped short.
A lovely girl stepped onto the terrace,
so lovely,
too lovely
for us to enjoy our trip.

Basia shot her husband a stricken look.
Krystyna took Zbyszek's hand
I thought: I'll call you,
tell you, don't come just yet,
they're predicting rain for days.

Only Agnieszka, a widow,
met the lovely girl with a smile.

- Wislawa Szymborska

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Chairs move by themselves, and books.
Grandchildren visit, stand
new and nameless, their faces' puzzles
missing pieces. She's like a fish
in deep ocean, its body made of light.
She floats through rooms, through
my eyes, an old woman bereft
of chronicle, the parable of her life.
And though she's almost a child
there's still blood between us:
I passed through her to arrive.
So I protect her from knives,
stairs, from the street that calls
as rivers do, a summons to walk away,
to follow. And dress her,
demonstrate how buttons work,
when she sometimes looks up
and says my name, the sound arriving
like the trill of a bird so rare
it's rumored no longer to exist.

- Bob Hicok

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