By Beth Ann Fennelly
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Extra resources for A Different Kind of Hunger (Texas Review Poetry Chapbook Series)
I wept, which I did not expect to do. That's the story best as I can tell it. I'd like to sleep in but still wake at four my tongue outstretched where Babel has been razed. We've sold his library to pay his debts and buy Deborah that harpsichord inside. < previous page page_27 next page > < previous page page_28 next page > Page 28 Well, sir, you may enter at your leisure. We're grateful for your visit, but I didn't hear your name. Peter? That is strange, In "Lycidas," St. Pewell, never mind. You've come for Papa, he's laid out within.
We lowered him, at last, from the bow window. Neighbors got some ropes, I went below. If I live to be sixty-six like him I never will see a stranger sight: Papa swinging into sunshine, wings of gauze aflap his shoulders, bedsheets billowing. Descending from the sun, he blinded me. I wept, which I did not expect to do. That's the story best as I can tell it. I'd like to sleep in but still wake at four my tongue outstretched where Babel has been razed. We've sold his library to pay his debts and buy Deborah that harpsichord inside.
He did, but it was not, praised be the Lord. That was three days ago. The layer out then bathed his body, strapped him to a board, and tied his legs so his soul couldn't walk. Blue fingers were so curled into his palm we kept them straight by fixing them to sticks. We tied his goitered chin so Lucifer and witches couldn't coven on his tongue. We placed two copper pennies on the eyes that nevermore would see they couldn't see. Most lacking where most needed, dignity was not an honored guest at Papa's death.