(A former patient friends her therapist)
I remember the time you visited
your fandango of a family
out in the Mojave, the ones
who gave you someone else’s name.
Took us hard weeks, extra sessions,
weekend phone calls
to pick out the shrapnel.
And yesterday you friended me on facebook.
Who’d have thought? Your pure face
pared down to essentials, a face
come out the other side. Rid of
the hustling husband at last.
Now here you are, saving horses.
Used to be cats. You fed the strays
though they never let you touch them.
And prop-mistress, redeeming cast-offs,
finding them a home in someone else’s movie.
I remember your vision of a child,
sticky hair, grubby face, crying
at the bottom of a pit.
I don’t want to take care of her,
I don’t know how.
How sternly, how sadly I told you,
She has no one else, you must find a way.
And the time you tried out for a blind girl’s part,
groping and tapping, face crumpled
as you tried to see through the dark.
But a girl long-blind would have been broken-in
to ploughing through a world
of sudden sounds and calving glaciers.
Surely that gladiator face would have smoothed,
like yours now, into blue-glacier mildness.
Karen Greenbaum-Maya, reti(red) clinical psychologist, short-statu(red) German major, two-time Pushcart nominee and occasional photographer, lives a laye(red) though scatte(red) life. “Real Poem” received Honorable Mention in the 2013 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Competition. Her poems and photos have appeared in Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Off the Coast, Lilliput Review, Blue Lyra Review, Measure, Conclave, Women’s Studies Quarterly, B O D Y , and The Centrifugal Eye. Kattywompus Press publishes her two chapbooks, Burrowing Song (2013) and Eggs Satori (2014). Find links to photos and poems online at: www.cloudslikemountains.blogspot.com/.
next table of content