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Editor's Note



Two Poems by Constance Campana

Talking to My Mother

I am older than you were
when you died—when I would lay
on the floor in the hospital, my jacket
 a pillow, waiting for
for my brother
to tap my shoulder—
because then, it would be my turn,
to sit by what was left of you—
your warm hand, your
breathing, deep and sparse.

I didn’t know that years would pass
before this last picture of you left.

But now you are walking everywhere, you
are sitting at your desk writing letters, you are
kneeling in your garden, a pile of weeds at your side.

I can smell you, and your cigarette smoke
in the night in summer on the back stoop.
I see the ember you flick form an arc into the grass
and disappear. Teach me that, I remember asking.

Being Born to My Father

Into the desert a baby is born—
what did I learn, what did I learn?

Some people are lost there—some
never return.

If found alive,
it is a long way back.

They must close their eyes
for a long, long time—

Normal dark is not dark enough—
they need rooms like caves and weighted cloth   

—and all this for years, these years like night—
I waited for years to look at light.

Constance Campana is a Faculty Writing Associate in the Department of English at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. She has been published in Brown Journal of the Arts, Three Rivers Poetry Journal, 491 Magazine, Dogwood, Clerestory and several other small press magazines. She is currently writing personal essays that examine family myths, family dynamics and the kind of detailed events that determine identity. She grew up in Kentucky but after receiving her MFA from Brown University, has lived in Rhode Island and Massachusetts for the past 30 years.

Copyright 2012, Constance Campana . © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.