Winter 1998 • Vol. XX No. 1 Poetry |

What We Knew

If knowledge is power what collusion of human and physical forces stripped from my father the right to face his known and certain prognosis: terminal, progressive, but slow enough for him to choose what he wanted to do with years of relative clarity, years when his world was not yet strange as wakingwithin sleep into a bright day, relentlessly normal, yet nothing identifiable or secure because in this dream you can never find where you have left your glasses, or you must get somewhere fast--your legs work but only like buckets slopping mud, the rest of your body is like machinery left uncovered all winter, almost frozen with rust, the very footings flake corroded chunks back into the soil, so that he can no longer stand, he cannot maneuver spoons of yogurt, of applesauce, between his lips. My mother has to feed him, he opens his mouth astonished, his hands loop and dart as if moments were bubbles burst by broken syllables, words which brush by closely as his own breath. I have his l

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If knowledge is power what collusion of human and physical forces stripped from my father the right to face his known and certain prognosis: terminal, progressive, but slow enough for […]

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