To Paul Brand Who Raised Lepers – Poetry by Roberta “Bobby” Santlofer

Caspar David Friedrich – Coffin and Grave

So rats wouldn’t gnaw their
Fingers & toes

When it came to your death
& you were laid out
Your coffin was scrubbed & the room
Disinfected

So tell me, Paul Brand,
You sympathetic soul
Who rescued noses,
Fingers & toes
How you gave lepers hands
To keep them whole


About the Poets

Roberta “Bobby” Santlofer (1943-2020) was a mother of sons, an avid reader, and a poet. A posthumous collection of her poetry is forthcoming. Santlofer’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in GargoylePhiladelphia StoriesGrey Sparrow Review, and elsewhere.

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

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