I’m lying here 

Suspended in time 

My nose is burning

My chest is tight

I’m afraid

But not really

Life will pick up again

With its endless

Merry go round 

Of tasks

And worries

I scroll through pictures

I can see that my sister’s littlest kid has 

the strong

Arms of our other sister

Those tough, sinewy 

arms she had in 1986 

When we were all 

Crammed into 

That apartment in the city

Filled to the brim 

With diapers and toys 

And our parents were whirling around us

Going to work and the store 

Our mother

On the floor



My father 

Still Alive

Across town

Doing his thing

The bus

Taking my stepfather’s orchestra 

Uptown to play a concert in the park

Or on the airplane

To the grand theaters of Europe

Old threadbare 


Stuffed into a metal

Bass case

That could withstand

A trip across the Atlantic Ocean

There was that time he took us with him

And I would touch Turkish soil

Before you even

Served in Attaturk’s army

A curly haired boy 

About to be taken for the ride of a lifetime

And tossed out onto 

The Maine snow

For me to snap up

A lifetime later

And here you are 

Picking up my paxlovid

At the Hannaford Supermarket

On Forest Avenue 

Bald now

With a smile

That can bring any

Virus to its


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