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This poem is taken from PN Review 87, Volume 19 Number 1, September - October 1992.Two Poems
My mother was a tightrope dancer.
She was happier toeing her lofty line
than pacing a broad boulevard.
Flanked by the void to right and left
she stepped weightless.
When her sons, grown tall and aware,
declared it was time she retire
she sang out to them from her perilous wire:
I am a funambulist to the tips of my toes.
I'll dance on my rope till I drop.
And that's what she did.
Pain, that seasoned emigré,
has come unasked to stay.
Since courtesy forbids
probings and questionings
there is no way to know
when or if he will go.
By day he's on the prowl
seeking to gain control,
then creeps with clammy feet
by night between my sheets.
There, at daggers drawn,
we toss and turn till dawn,
for he will not retreat
nor I concede defeat.
This poem is taken from PN Review 87, Volume 19 Number 1, September - October 1992.