“Love Refrains” by Barbara Lydecker Crane

Barbara Lydecker Crane


a ghazal

Mom banged her hairbrush down in a reprimand of love.
“What an awful question! You don’t understand love.

“Of course Dad loves you. How can you question that?
He doesn’t have to blare it out, like a brass band of love.

“You aren’t a princess to be coddled on a lap or praised
without good reason. That’s a never-never land of love.

“Your father works hard, with a great deal on his mind.
Now don’t go causing trouble, making a demand of love.

“Yes, I know he yells and sends you to your room a lot.
But be glad he never hits you with the backhand of love.

“Once, banished to your room, you drew a picture poem
for him. I watched him beam at you with unplanned love.

“He said he’s proud of you. I’ve heard him tell you twice.”
She brushed my hair, hard. “Barb, that’s a brand of love.”

from Rattle #58, Winter 2017
Rattle Poetry Prize Finalist


Barbara Lydecker Crane: “When I first took a poetry class in 2005 (by chance), and the teacher was focusing on formalist poems that semester (by chance), I felt as if a fuse in me had been lit, and I’ve been writing both light and serious poems ever since, always in meter and almost always in rhyme.”

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