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Susan Kelly-DeWitt


My mother hovers at the western ridge.
Soon she will vanish like the sun
she never became.

My brother weeps ahead of time,
rocking his leaky boat, afraid
for himself, lost in some east,
some ripple of boyhood shadow.

My father has gone south again—
sober this time. When I write him
in my mind, I address the letter,
wistfully, to Paradise

and think of his eyes pecking happiness
there, like two blue macaws;
the wily toucan of misery freed
from the cage in his chest.

What we have comes and goes,
like the semi jackknifed on the freeway
in yesterday’s rain, that called
three souls aside to shiver in the downpour
beside their own wounded skin.

I am spilling my guts to the wind,
contemplating the ruined leaves of October.
Dawn-driven, my near friends the crows
rise in a black tide across the brightening sky
as I walk north through the chill.

The crows swirl and pass.

The last days shine
like the eyes of confused
animals in the dark.

Who can I speak with, if not with these crows,
if not with this mist that rises
from the deserted avenues?

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