Poems by Michele Seminara

The Blue Hour

Sickness in the Family

There is sickness in the family:
in the martyred mother’s cervical hump
the droop of the harried father’s eye
the retreat of the big sister into bed —
(the whispers are that it’s all in her head).

That the soft young nurse couldn’t
stand to hold another dying hand
that the father’s face is a Dali clock
palsied behind a pirate patch
that the little girl won’t come out
to play because mother’s head is bad today
and that she died three times giving birth to you
and her dazzled spirit only just withdrew…

So silence; still; be very good;
this world must not be tested.
Else sister’s cells will harm themselves
father’s face will elongate
mother’s brittle heart will break —
and all because of you.


head bowed above
vengeful page
on bare knees kneeling
beside the bed
while charged pen shrieks
like words…

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