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  • We sit on the sun porch
  • and watch the storm
  • roll in from the Rock River,
  • he with Jane Kenyon’s Otherwise,
  • her luminous poems about dying,
  • cradled in his lap,
  • a book I bought him on impulse.
  • He brings it with him
  • to the dinner table where he can’t eat;
  • it sits beside him
  • on the sofa when he watches TV.
  • His thin hand rests on its cover
  • as black clouds shiver and spin,
  • his own dying a few months away.
  • We don’t speak its name
  • though death slumps
  • near his shoulder, a weary angel,
  • and I want to tear at its wings,
  • beat it back with my fists.
  • But we sit in our wicker chairs
  • watching the summer storm
  • talking of nothing
  • while rain pelts the roof,
  • lightning splits open the sky.

A native Southern Californian, Lynda Riese lives in San Diego with her husband of 30 years and her two rescue dogs. She began to write seriously 20 years ago and has published poems in Calyx, Onthebus, Poet Lore, and other small press literary magazines in print and on the net. She also enjoys writing prose and has an almost-finished novel in stories gathering dust in her desk drawer. When she’s not writing or taking photographs of her dogs, she works as an antique dealer specializing in vintage and Victorian jewelry.

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