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The year is thin and brittle
As the skin on Grandma’s shins
That cracks and bleeds for ninety years of reasons.
Late autumn air so thinly stretched
Over the remnants of this aging year
Can no longer contain the pulsing sun;
It spurts like ruptured plumbing,
An aortal embolism of glare
Splintering window glass with the end-on impact
Of an ingot furious from the furnace—
Hammer-strumming roadside trees, the sun
Plays blind man’s bluff, elbows us in the eye,
Dares us to keep our footing.
Wraps us in scarves of blazing blackness,
Spins us three times around, pulls us
Into the dark alcove underneath the staircase
Creaking with the footsteps of the exiting year,
And gropes us with the urgent, clumsy lust
Of the almost dead.
Jane Lawliss Murphy
Singer and published composer of five albums of songs, essayist and licensed Jin Shin Jutsyu practicioner, book ‘Sugar on Snow A Memoir’
Performance Poets Association®
Breakfast With My Father
In our house on the bay,
It was breakfast time.
My father was attired in his camel’s hair robe
And I had a pink terry-cloth one.
As he rinsed out his cereal bowl in the sink,
Something caught his attention.
His eyes traveled through the window above the sink.
“Follow me,” is what he said, though no words left his mouth.
So follow him I did.
Through the parched grass, in my bare feet,
Walking like the Indians on my mother’s family tree.
Never making a sound
Not a crackle
Not a crunch
Until- - - -
At the end of our hunt
I stood centimeters away
From a very small
The Morning I Left Leningrad
The morning I left Leningrad
The snow bloomed pink and red with sun,
And frozen Neva waters flared
Like fire from a signal gun.
The bridges etched dark silhouettes
Linking streets over rosy ice.
A seagull arced and swooped in flight
And cried his morning greeting twice.
I breathed in air soaked through with salt
It almost froze my lungs with cold.
I wished I had more time to spend
And watch the springtime’s warmth unfold.
But planes must leave on scheduled time,
My bags are packed and I must go.
I hope someday I will return
To watch the Neva waters flow.
founding member of “Poets for Peace–Long Island Chapter”, job coaching program coordinator, one chapbook published