INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
OUR LUMINOUS PATIENT
All night we listened to the lunatic fray--
to the flailing skirmishes of ragged words and ravaged limbs.
When we thought morning had finally come,
we threw open the door
and the moon staggered into our arms.
What was there to do but brace oursleves
against the good wood of this house
and shore-up the ramparts in our father's room?
For we are bound by blood
and the glorious burnish of his long lustrous years.
And now--oh, how many nights we barely sleep!
We fear our luminous patient will rise
to rage the length of the house--
will push aside our ministering hands
to lift his fervid face toward battle.
Oh, how many nights we barely sleep,
knowing that we who love our father
will, too soon, be re-marshaled
to strip the singed sheets from his bed, to bar the door,
and man the barricades.
So we lie awake, aquiver
to the fading champion next door--
to any benighted din heralding a new campaign,
another turn of the siege,
another tremulous surrender.
Yes, we will be here to catch him up in our arms;
a sickle-shaped sliver of his old self--pale, weathered.
And for a moment we will steady the old soldier
in his waning course through our sky.
Shutta Crum, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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