Howard Firkin
(a visit to the nursing home)
When words run out, we look at pictures or
we find a sunny spot to sit and let
the birds converse of things we can't forget
until next time. We've lived most days before.
Each visit is more process than event.
At times, the rivers run, but times like these
the rivers dry, form sanctuary pools
where life recuperates as each day cools,
and words are sounds, leaf-murmurs in the breeze,
where life is nothing more than its intent.

Her bird-frail memory is never still:
a figure turns a corner, someone plays
that song, her sister Mary taken ill…
I fly. Birds roost. Words run out. No one stays.