(quote from Frank X Walker’s-“Buring Albatross”)
“Standing close enough to kiss, we almost touch and pretend”
that we really didn’t want to despite the yearning in our hands;
for the closeness of the familial feel of fingers on face
my own wrapped around cheeks holding you still
while wiping a smudge off your chubby cheeks. Just a
mirror of my mothers, smiling in crooked disgust
at being tended to with a gentle assurance that just as
quickly, I might let you go before you are ready to leave.
I straighten the collar of your white shirt and smooth the
shoulders of the black suit, brushing off the invisible dust
That keeps my hands connected to you. My heart tied to the
strings that I braided with the third cord I suddenly found
dangling from the umbilical apron ties that my mother
left on the hospital bed before shedeparted for home.
© NP 4/07/11