Closer – A Poem by Stacey Z. Lawrence

February – Alex Coville

Poetry by Stacey Z. Lawrence

We always take the furthest spot, eager to walk
the flat expanse of Sloan Kettering’s parking lot.
On occasion he smiles in these first days
swollen with hope,
late June sunshine on his shoulders,
the Dogwood just in bloom
browning white petals kiss pavement.

Hot, he waves a limp wrist
motioning me to park nearer.
The tree is laden with green leaves now,
people walk, wipe sweat from eyes.
His clammy hand clenches the bag he still carries
relentless Jersey humidity further stifles his breath .

It spread
hip, kidney, bone.
The cane hobbles him from car to front door
where a lobby is filled with mums and pumpkins.
His wool cap fits loosely now, his face still beautiful-
chiseled, sunken. His sweater
slips off his back, a skinny boy
in daddy’s clothes.

The wheels on his chair thin, snow deep.
His final infusion –
a mere crucifixion, we
are met by his Simon of Cyrene, sipping
coffee, laughing with security as
I recline the seat and
writhe him out of our car
like burnt bread, fallen too deep
into the toaster.

About the Poet

Stacey Z Lawrence teaches Poetry and Creative Writing to high school students in Maplewood, NJ. She has studied poetry at The Frost House and The Millay Colony.  She is working on her first book of poems.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

7 thoughts

  1. Love imagery–at once dreamlike and clear. It really helps us to understand what it is like to love and care another as they slip through our fingers.

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