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Poems on Passing
THE BLUE BLANKET



Toward the end, my father argued
with my mother over everything: He wanted
her to eat again. He wanted her to take

her medicine. He wanted her
to live. He argued with her in their bed
at naptime. He was cold, he said,

tugging at the blanket tangled
in my mother's wasted limbs. From the hall
outside their room I listened

as love, caught and fettered, howled
at its captors, gnawing at its own flesh
in its frenzy to escape. Then I entered

without knocking, freed the blanket
trapped between my mother's knees and shook
it out once, high above

their bodies' cursive. It floated
for a moment, blue as the Italian sky
into which my father flew his bombs

in 1943, blue as the hat I'd bought her
for the winter she would never live
to see. My father's agitation eased,

my mother smiled up at me, her face
lucent with gratitude, as the blanket
sifted down on them like earth.


Sue Ellen Thompson
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We ate, and talked,
and went to bed,
And slept.
It was a miracle.
Donald Hall
Poems on Passings & Partings
After Reading T'ao Ch'ing
The Argument
Aubade
For My (Grand) Daughter
Philosophy
The Pond at Dusk
Preparations for a Parting
To Luck
What's in My Journal
Kindness
Three Songs at the End
Meadowbrook Nursing Home
Let Evening Come
Exercise
No Children, No Pets
Doctors
Choice of Diseases
When Death Comes
Becoming
Remember When
The Blue Blanket
Boat on the River
Candles
Sun and Moon
Remember When [another]
Forgiveness
In November
Thinking about the Past
Taking Down the Tree