Once, I wept long and hard for a prize I wanted so badly but had not won.
It’s painful to learn how skin after skin is shed, in continuous passage.

There was a game we used to play, to come back to ourselves: in the middle of fleeting
thought, someone would call Stop. We’d search within for a foothold, in passage.

The potter urges clay upon the wheel into a shape, then feeds it to the fire. Glaze
and slip applied under noon’s vacant heat: a body emerges out of the kiln, in passage.

From a hospital bed in upstate New York, my friend calls tonight to say she’s been moved
to rehab. After a stroke, her left side is numb; the simplest movement is arduous passage.

I used to take everything for granted, she says. Today it took me fifteen minutes to slide
a button into its hole. The man who made my leg brace lost one arm as a soldier, in passage

Am I selfish when I confess that sometimes I feel the ones I love most are the ones
that might do me in? My heart tumbles its load like a laundry machine: damp passage.

Crickets sing, metallic in the evenings. In the distance, lightning answers. We turn
the TV on to watch the late night news: chance of hail, thunderstorms in passage.


In response to small stone (118) and small stone (117).

2 Replies to “Exchanges”

  1. Oh, it’s a rarely fortunate or unfortunate one who is ever done in by anyone else! :-)

    I love, love the heart as a washing machine. A beggar in one of Sage Cohen’s poems goes by, muttering “Life pulls. Life pulls.” Like that.

    Good night dear Luisa!

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