Winter 1989 • Vol. XI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1989 |

The Death of a Friend

For Mary It is mostly her face, a moon-wide face, that I think of, telling the funny stories, keeping straight. She taught children to speak the language of their neighbors. She prayed for her Guatemalan housemaid. She traveled to Greece, to Spain, and in the ruins and castles kept the same unsentimental face, seeing things straight for all their crooked stories. She told me the tale of Pasiphaëwith great delight, a parable of passion and science. We were standing in the labyrinth. She knew the way out.

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Robin Shectman's poems have appeared in numerous journals, including American Scholar and Beloit Poetry Journal.

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