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This poem is taken from PN Review 224, Volume 41 Number 6, July - August 2015.

Elegy for the Family Romance Nausheen Eusuf
for Sohana Manzoor

1. Elegy for my mother, still alive,

so fearful that she tracks an airplane’s progress
for hours across a screen when her children travel,
intent on a small green dot as if their lives
depended on it. She’d like to clutch them close,
to keep them locked and safe in a wooden chest
with a clasp that buckles shut, nice and snug.
It’s up to her now, even though she knows
her husband’s dementia is a sham. He fakes it
for the attention he always hogged, that rogue
she resents for not having made a better match.
She knows their little second-floor apartment’s
under surveillance. At malls and marketplaces,
the furtive glances of people who scuttle away
like cockroaches when the light’s turned on.

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