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Poetry by Lyn Lifshin 

Lyn is an accomplished poet, responsible for over 100 books.  Winner of the Jack Kerouac Award, among others, she's been Poet In Residence at a few colleges, taught writing courses, and has been editor for four women writers anthologies.  Visit her site.



© 2009 Lyn Lifshin







but lava. that

strangeness, wanting,

not sure, wanting

the strangeness. Here

mounds of the darkest

grey, the cold,

scars. Your words,

a quilt








it’s not that early,

cove light thru

Venetian blinds.

Then, there’s a noise,

a jolt. It’s the day

someone has a key

but this can’t

be her. It’s just

wrong. I break out

in terror. There’s

this bald man and a

woman in CVS

that could be a

Halloween costume

for a sexy maid. Some

thing’s wrong.

Delilah couldn’t have

sent them. No, she’d

let me know. They

are burglars or

murderers. I’m not

sure if they’ve seen me,

don’t have Delilah’s

number and with

the middle of the night,

loud faxes or a phone

you can’t turn the

ringer off. I tossed the

phone, there is no way

to get out, no one to

wake up next to me and

thru the sliver of

the door, just the bald

man’s gloves








A Sunday, all day on the

floor near my mother’s

hospital bed. The films

we watched blur. Were

they comedies? tragedies?

No one supposed it was

the last day. Her phone

installed 2 or 3 days

before. No exhausting

August days. On one, I

fell asleep over coffee  in

the French bakery. Beet

soup, a little ground up

Demerol, making sure the

white powder doesn’t

float. That last night she

was starved, roast chicken,

even pizza and then, skinny

as a school girl on the

phone with relatives, a

college friend. A full day

and she wasn’t even

tired, talked of another

trip to the mall. I slept

when the night nurse

came sure these Sundays

would stretch out,

sure Thanksgiving would

be around the bed in the

orange rooms with the

cat on the sill and

never that the cat would

know, slink away for

the first time








All work is property of Lyn Lifshin.




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