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Guest Poet Ben Copito

Letting Go

Now returned from hospital and hospiced at home,
her daughter lovingly spoons fine pureed
soup between her firmly compressed lips.

Grasping at a straw's-worth miracle,
she brewed the soup with filtered water
and choice vegetables organically grown,
striving to prolong mother Yelena's life
a month, a week, a day, perhaps some hours.

In vast Russia together they endured Stalin's terror,
and flashing nazi airborne machinegun fire
upon their eastward escaping rail box car.
Starvation, terror, and war so fused their lives,
the one might pull the other to her grave.

Yet, it seems the iron-clenched lips and eyelids
choose to sever that bond to free the child
to mourn, then live her own remaining years.

May, 2002

Ben Copito's questions:

Does this poem skirt too close to sentimentality?


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