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Ambiguous Loss

We would talk of what was defined
as tangible, rap the table with
a knuckle, stroke the cashmere. Sip
the tea. Fathers were not mentioned.
Nor how my mother would call me
by her sister’s name, suddenly,
sometimes. He said he thought
his sense of smell was lessening,
and how to tell? Was it just age?
I thought so or thought it best
to say so. Some form of compassion
was needed. He missed it: even
burnt toast. He sat, looking off
beyond my shoulder, at something
I couldn’t see. There were never
any letters, and even hastily signed
cards stopped arriving years ago.
We found ourselves on occasion
wandering down city streets after
heavy snow, before any clearing.


Kelly R. Samuels is the author of two poetry collections—Oblivescence (Red Sweater Press) and All the Time in the World (Kelsay Books)—and four chapbooks: Talking to Alice, To Marie Antoinette, from, Words Some of Us Rarely Use, and Zeena/Zenobia Speaks.

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