(x = space)

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Old River

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There is sunshine I haven’t

Seen for a while

Western Pennsylvania had been

Living into its reputation

For precipitation

(there is a flood watch on

because the Ohio,

deep and wide

like the song,

could overmarch its primordial

lines)

I’m glad to be with family

Took two occasions—three if

Counting my sister and hers moving

Here—being New Year’s

And my brother’s illness

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Four out of five

Like the dentists

Have made it here so far

The fifth is coming soon

And I don’t know how to contemplate

What might happen next

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An elder brother’s murder

Was the dilemma for sibling Claudius

Here, cancer wants to commit

The crime,

The murder of my brother’s health

Unlike those of Claudius,

My words fly up with thought

And heaven catches them

I’ll keep offering

And offering

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In long ago, a sacrifice

Might help

But in the suburbs

No such help

Because we’ve grown beyond

The need

Some might say

(and should)

The laws have changed

Now it’s medications, institutions

On another altar

We can kneel and pray

Ancient of days

Will hear

As if it were the temple near

Whose opening we’d approach

As clean and ready

Bearing gifts

As we can be

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selah

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Now roll away, tumors

Like the stone that matched

An opening

So long ago

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C L Couch

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Pittsburgh

Photo by Taylor on Unsplash

Pittsburgh, United States

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