“Beloved Familiar” by Michele Rosenthal

Michele Rosenthal


When the infected wound has healed,
And final angers all seeped out like blood,

What refills the space that’s held the flood
Of tears? For over twenty years, a shield

Grew like a scab across my heart, concealed
Blue bruises born when memories thud

Against the brain. It’s tough to judge
Wellness, when grief’s old adaptations are repealed.

Funny, how in the moment pain abates,
Its gaping absence cuts as deep as any slice?

Or deeper. While weariness concentrates
On the exorbitant, usurious price

Of fortitude, freedom decapitates
Joy, snaps its neck in apprehension’s vice.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004

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