for Dad
 
 
By Elizabeth Swann
 
The snowy netherworld of a coma
holds you captive, and I wander

corridors of doubt, cold and numb.
I find my way to the chapel and lose

myself in the variant blues
of a stained glass window –

azzuro, the fractured sky.
I traveled a long way to find you

distant, face faded gray,
your body in ruins – echoes

of Pompeii, where marble temples
drowned with a thousand prayers

in tides of fire. Even then,
Fortuna would not smile.

I saw her once at an altar –
the goddess of luck, favorite

of mothers and slaves.
She extends with grace

one verdigris hand and offers
an empty plate, her bronze gaze

unchanged since the day
she watched scalding ash

sift to the shuddering city,
the children’s cries

muffled in hot thick drifts,
soft swirls of sulfurous air.
 
 

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3 Responses to “At The Hospital”


  1. […] Prize, 2009. Read her poems “Portraits of Magdalene, The Masters’ View,” “At The Hospital,” and “Rain.” GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", […]


  2. […] Prize, 2009. Read her poems “Portraits of Magdalene, The Masters’ View,” “At The Hospital,” “Rain,” “Casting,” and “Spectrum.” […]

  3. Clarence Eden Says:

    Unlike Pompeii, he is risen from the ashes, or will be. Triumph!


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