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  • Writer's pictureVilma Ginzberg


His gaunt bent walking-stick frame

draped with hunter’s-plaid shirt

and scout’s awareness,

he holds her flaccid hand with his right,

her long-handled purse dangling from his left,

as he leads her

like a father his slow but precious child

out of the car,

onto her unsteady feet,

up the curb,

along the walk to the blood lab.

As if to make up for her vacant face

her hesitant body

from which identity has long since escaped,

he says hello to the passing stranger

cordially but undeterred from his task:

preserving her emptied shell

on the altar of long-ago vows,

breathing hope onto the cool gray embers

of ancient fires,

remembering what she has forgot,

teaching us what love is.

© Vilma Ginzberg, 10-19-2005

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