Ellen Steinbaum




It starts like tenderness

 


the helping hand cupping the elbow

that we shake off as if we didn’t notice,

as if we felt no sting.  

 

The children—grown now, middle-aged—

take bundles from our hands,

solicitous in unburdening, and—

like us—calibrating, sounding for decay.

 

Before their visits we clear the house

of the crimes of expired cereal, aspirin;

cut back the looming shrubs

that shroud the houses of the old.

        

In restaurants we watch

the slow, unsteady passage

to nearby tables, measure ourselves

against the faltering before us.




Ellen Steinbaum is the author of three poetry collections. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is included in Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems, American Places and The Widows’ Handbook. A former literary columnist for The Boston Globe, she writes a blog, “Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe,” which is at her web site, ellensteinbaum.com










                                    

 

Home
Current Issue
Submissions
Contributors' Notes


Email this poem Printer friendly page

A CLOSER LOOK: Betty Adcock

Grace Cavalieri

Patricia L. Hamilton

Sonja James

Rod Jellema

Robert Krenz

Miles David Moore

Jean Nordhaus

Kyle Norwood

Stephen Oliver

Barbara J. Orton

William Page

Patric Pepper

Oliver Rice

W.M. Rivera

Peter Serchuk

M.R. Smith

Ellen Steinbaum

Myrna Stone

Robert Joe Stout

Tim Suermondt

Ayten Tartici

Rodney Torreson

Buff Whitman-Bradley

Katherine E. Young

More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 


Last Updated: Feb 17, 2020 - 3:08:33 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2019 Cook Communication.