Tag Archives: illness

2

by Thomas Davis

He talked about the mirror of the lake,
reflected trees and clouds and sky, the still
so absolute, the waters dark, opaque,
no wind, no breath, no birds, no human will
to mar the moment made for memory
entangled in the webs of days and hours
that jumble, jangle, pounce, drone, laugh, and flee
across and through the fields of flowers
surrounding us and all the love we miss
but know inside our livers, gall stones, hearts
as hours blend into hours, and all our bliss
becomes a mirror that is but a part
of floating on a lake of trees and sky.
As rain begins to fall, a loon begins to cry.

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Shiva

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

In my two weeks of absence
I deeply missed
Shiva, my dog.

When I arrived home
she danced in circles;
then approached me slowly,
smelling my head—
smelling bone, flesh and brain fluid
slipped into my breath.

At night she lay
her head across
my chest,
like the old nurse
from the night shift,
an angel of mercy,
who came to my rescue.

The old dog who knew
about healing;
she showed me
how to be human.

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Our Lady

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

They came
to Our Lady of Conquering Love
to light a candle
for a father,
sick now,
in the humble church
in New Mexico.

Fumbling to produce
the right coin,
the travelers
looked in empty pockets
until a stranger,
a man, came to them
with a small coin.

With a flickering light,
under Our Lady of Conquering Love,
the travelers left
the small, humble church
where the Lady
still lives.

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Sonnet 32

by Thomas Davis

They came to see him as his body failed,
the morphine shredding boundaries between
the world we know and dream worlds where the seam
of time and substance is at last unveiled
and all the phantoms that have ever sailed
into our consciousness become a stream
of concrete beings shed of cloaking dreams,
the boundaries that held them prisoners curtailed.
He asked us if we saw them in the room.
We didn’t look, but looked at him instead,
resisting how we felt inside the gloom
that haunted us inside our haunted heads.

When, at long last, he spent his days asleep,
his spirit was the one we wished to keep.

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Sonnets 9 and 10

by Thomas Davis

9

I listen to the patterns of his talk,
not words, but how intelligence melds tight
into the rhythm, substance, breathing, walk
of who he is, our precious son, the light
we want to hold so awfully hard and tight
his brightness will survive for years and years.
But now his voice is weak. We face a plight
no parent wants, but every parent fears.
We sit beside his bed and hold back tears
and wonder why intelligence is not
enough, acknowledgement by all his peers,
his friendships, days of happiness are not

enough, not while I listen for his thoughts
expressed as rhythms in his too-soft talk.

10

Our girls, when young, while we were driving, clapped
their hands and sang a rhythm song, their voices
so beautiful we felt as if they’d wrapped
the two of us into a world where choices
flowed like a shining river to the sea,
our lives a rhythm graced by daughters’ song.
We had our cares, but we were really free
of troubles that can make life seem so wrong.
Now here, today, I hear my daughters clapping,
hands flying from their sides up to their palms,
and listen to our heartbeats snapping, snapping
across the years to help our hearts stay calm.

Inside this turbulence I’d love to see
our daughters like they are inside my memory.

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