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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Jean in the Picture

Oh baby,
whose arms reach out
in astonishment.
Whose childhood was art.
Caught like a moth
in a net of poverty.
Dear child,
looking from your photograph.
A picture in my mind.
The other picture
somewhere in an album
like a shell buried in sand.
She is ten in that picture,
holding a doorway
as if shyness forbid her
to come any further.
I cry, buried in her sorrows.

She was a happy soul.
Quick arms embracing everything.
Fate threw crumbs
on her barren table.
She did not know.
She lived in dreams.
Found fairies in the garden.
Played with her children
as a playmate.
Did not notice
how her brightness was ignored.
How little was on her plate.
Only I knew it.
I look at her in my soul,
asking, without recrimination,
why? Why? Why?

Published inIndex of all Poems