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Caregiving Poems # 16

My latest poem in a “Caregiving” series is below. It is a response to my current duties tending to my mother who must wear a cervical collar after tripping on a sidewalk, being hospitalized, experiencing an MRI, learning to use a walker and cane, and returning to her apartment near Boston, MA.

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Caregiving Poem #16 (drafted June 18-22)
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AGAINST GRAIN
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Walls of her flat too cramped to let long twin wings
of her aged pine table be often elevated, lifted by hand
then parked horizontal with four blocks of wood. Twice
a year at most she’d raise a single side for stacks
of wrapped gifts, paper napkins, five extra forks.
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In her house of two stairwells she covered table neatly
with Irish linen, set down gold-rimmed plates, tucked
under one wing her three combed girls. They swung
crossed feet, watched Grandfather carve and piece her
dark hen. For that scion of carpenters, blades precise.
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This month, mounds of urgencies — dislodged spine
manuals and diagrams, bills, datebooks blotched
in garish yellow pen  — force both table wings up
at cross-purposes. Her guest closet, blocked. Blocked,
her own hips. How to pass from indecent end to end?
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About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

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