Magi and Other Poems


Magi


i

the nativity set is still packed away
in a tupperware container I cannot find


and the tree     it’s almost too big
for the room


what was I thinking


I don’t have enough
to fill those empty branches


my brother-in-law in the hospital bed
sometimes did not know


who I was      he would become


suddenly polite     like I was just
some stranger visiting


after the biopsy his head was shaved
and swaddled in bandages


for a while he and my sister
thought there would be a different ending


a miraculous surgeon
if they could travel far enough


away to find him     there were holes


in his sentences backfilled with I’m scared


still he had an opinion
about what kind of mobile


I should buy my baby         what colors
should spin above her in the dark


I got the one he said and feel


it is a gift now that he is gone


when I look up and all the birds
are tangled together


and they can’t navigate either


still the baby pointing up at them
is like a message
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