Wednesday, March 3, 2010


by Lyn Lifshin

Sure geraniums are
carnations. She loved
my tangerine plant,
the heavy sweetness
like musky night
wind in Guatemala.
I will think of her
asking, “Is it true
in this country they
chop up the dead
and put them in
coffins?” Delilah,
when she couldn’t
eat, she waited,
passed up fruits and
fresh things she
loved and when
they found what it
was, hoped her hair
wouldn’t fall out.
Anything green and
growing charmed
her, anything alive
was a miracle.
She prayed and
prayed and her
church prayed with
her. There was
chemo and radiation,
9 months long as if
to grow a baby
or oranges, raspberries.
Delilah with your
soaps of raw potatoes
that didn’t work and
the drugs that changed
your voice. With your
mop and vacuum you
were always singing.
Now that the honey
is coming into what you
say on tape, the sun, a
little giggling, even with
out you unlocking the
door–“Miss Lyn, are you
here?” her radio bleats
Spanish stations. She
gleams at my cat’s
clear green eyes

*Lyn's website:

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