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  November/December 2012
volume 9 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  David Cravens
  Ivan Jenson
  Walter Ruhlmann
  Maryann Russo
  John Saunders
  David Scriven
  Apryl Skies
  Julia Stein
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Julia Stein December 2012



photo by james barros

    Julia Stein is co-author of the upcoming non-fiction book Shooting Women: Behind the Camera, Around the World (London, 2015). She has published five books of poetry, the latest which is What Are They Like. She has edited two books of poetry: Walking Through a River of Fire: 100 Years of Triangle Fire Poetry and Every Day Is an Act of Resistance: Selected Poems of Carol Tarlen.



My Brother's Voice

The voice is far away, muffled, as he breathes behind a mask--
he is in the small town hospital.
Locals say you go there to die.
Then his voice disappears as I call up. The nurse tells me
he might need surgery for a stomach blockage.
I wash my clothes, scrub the bathroom sink,
The nurses voice tells me
hes helicoptered to the Redding hospital.
Now voices in ICU tell me he has pneumonia.
Wheres the brothers voice? I need to speak to my brother
That terrible Monday I had to go to jury duty and the interviewer
wouldn't let me go half-day;
the repairmen put furnaces in my mothers house.
My brothers voice is gone that Monday
His voice on Tuesday weakly saying, Come up Thursday.
I say, I cant until after giving my three finals.
Come up Thursday evening, his voice says
Ill be there Saturday.
Its small triumphs nowhes out of ICU.
His voice a tiny bit stronger.

copyright 2012 Julia Stein



The Woman He Loves

My brother in a retirement home can barely walk
still hes happy his daughter wins
college scholarships graduates
from high school co-valedictorian
spends his money on graduation pictures
his joy in seeing her love her first year of college,
beams at the As he gets,
he finds a beloved at his retirement home,
shes always sitting on his bed across from him,
my brother hustles me up to take them shopping
despite the daily awful back pain,
the latest bout with pneumonia,
hes busy giving gifts to his daughter his girlfriend

copyright 2012 Julia Stein