Breathe In, Breathe Out
You watch the patient die, that patient being
Your mother. Final wish: a cigarette.
Then several months well up, and now the gleaning
Includes the poet who put stuff on your plate
That fed this verse. You speak of Snodgrass, walking,
His smile and peppered beard stained with future cancer.
Never the father figure, always balking
At friendship, he was and is a clumsy dancer
When hands are meant to hold and hips to sway,
You’d guess, although you’ll never know. He played
A lute out on the hill and sang away
At songs he fancied would lure a college coed,
Pretty, much like your mom, back when. The tune
We hold. The words, they’re worms. They feed. They’re gone.