the final time I saw my mother
she was trying to find
the last strawberry on her plate
I hold a string of amethysts up to my collarbone.
There are wrinkles on my neck now,
rings of crinkled flesh like tree-markings,
one for each lived year
now that I don’t have sex every night or carry two fat boys,
one on each hip, up small mountains,
I have to go to exercise class
That we descant and yet again descant
Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song:
Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young
We loved each other and were ignorant.
I was sixty and I was dancing with Jan,
my brother’s Queen of the Line Dance wife
This is the poem about the Beatles that
I never wrote, and now there are more
yesterdays than tomorrows
Today you’ll work in the room behind the barn. For years there’s been a stain on the sheetrock where the rain drips in, and the place smells of rot, and when the other day you yanked off a chunk of sheetrock, thinking might be rotten wood in there, thinking you’d maybe have to replace a few studs, you found, in that damp place, everything rotten.
you won’t know that squall in the soul
as when you pondered your place in the world.
Whatever that was, now is.
It wasn’t a dream, but the experience was dreamlike: across the computer screen, one day last week, a photograph of my father, sent by some well-meaning distant acquaintance, flashed without warning. In this black-and-white photo, Moses Hadas is sitting at the desk in his office…