A Simple Request

By Patricia Corbus

Featured Art: Threatening Sky, Bay of New York by Thomas Chambers

—for Wes

Here I am, still drowning in the world,
while you are opening Dame Simplicity’s closet—

and I say, Be good to him, Simple Goodness,
Air and water, expand for him! Moon, be a smiling
china plate for him to leap over!

In the cupboard where cups wait quietly
and beautiful old words are folded in flannel cloths:

Mother, Father, Long-suffering, Beloved, Forgiveness—

Lay him down in simple peace, homely pleasures,
between jars filled with feathers and shells—
near Grandmother’s broom that sweeps so clean.

What aromatic, wild poultice crushed to the breast
soothes and heals all?—

It is the essence of Brother
overpowering me with some stinging nettle of sweetness—

Whatever sunset door you go through, hold open for me.


Patricia Corbus’ book Finestra’s Window won the 2015 Off the Grid Poetry Prize.

Piece originally published in NOR 13.

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