Friday, February 19, 2016


While everyone else in that large family slept
My father would be awake in the attic
Studying perhaps, or writing imperishable things
Which have perished. After her hard day's work,
His mother would read old newspapers
In the kitchen. (She got full value from her papers
Never letting one go until she had read it all
The news, the ads, the serialized novel,
Advice, recipes and those strange short bits
Compositors used to make the columns even.)
A few hours before dawn she would go upstairs
And bring him some tea and perhaps a cookie.
Did she bring a cup for herself sometimes?
And what did they discuss, those nachtvolk?

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