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For John

For the send-off, a haversack of mounting days:
socks with slip-proof stops, a comb, an unused razor;
hospital kitsch. A folder with paper-clipped scripts
in Livy’s Latin: a history of pour turned into measured drips.

Labels like vague instructions or memories
of how and what we thought, how to retrieve
our former selves – or not. There is no aftercare
kit for this. Only the fossil imprint: years

of love’s lava laying down sediment in love’s   
hard strata: summer’s dog days and winter’s cover;
proof that for some the distress of a cavernous shift,
for us will be valleys widened, rivers uplifted.

And after-days will be the medic’s doses delivered thoughtfully and well --
meaning, unmeasured: a love that births Arcadia from grafted stems and
tender cells.


Copyright © 2020  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Published in  The Raintown Review.

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