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The Schmooze

POEM: ‘On the Machine’

my grandmother did not change
my grandfather’s greeting,
so his voice ripened my sadness
before the tone.

I considered how he might find
contentment knowing we were
checking on the short woman
he had left to the heavy warmth
of lower Florida,

how for the children of Israel,
it is customary to leave
desperate notes
over tombs of the righteous,

how a measure of the soul
might remain in the sound
of a voice uncontained
by the body,

completing the circuit
between the dead and
their grandchildren.

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