“After” by Marilynn Talal

Marilynn Talal


After my stroke
After I broke
A second rib

I saw I couldn’t
Save his life
The low flower face

The tiger
Had leapt
Between us.

from Rattle #48, Summer 2015
Tribute to New Yorkers


Marilynn Talal: “When I was four or five, my mother and I were in our kitchen in the Bronx, where I was born and grew up, and she was talking to me about God and how S/He made the world. I asked if God made houses. She replied, ‘People make houses.’ I looked out the window in the front of the house and saw leafy trees in full summer foliage. ‘Do people make trees?’ ‘No, God makes trees.’ ‘Does God make poems?’ ‘No, people make poems.’ I felt my eyes become more alive as I stared at the magic book of poems in my hand and decided I wanted to be a maker of poems when I grew up.”

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