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We can celebrate everything. The day he trips
is not the day the night nurse tells me he’s hanging on
to struggle, tells me, Sister, work your magic. The day he won’t eat

is not the day he breaks from dancing. Turn,
swing. Whatever sound pours into him. Not true: he’ll never laugh
without us. A rainbow falls on brick

and this is not the day the cattle cross from point
to sun. Imagine that. A path
that matters least. Matter is patient. Old photographs

back us unexpected into
simple. The old lamp translates light
to a next day; he collects

his generous junk and perhaps next day his belt
drawn up again. At night, night bursts
and I can’t ease its pools and glyphs. The brain will take

and slicker back
the limit. Now next to me he sits in bits
of silence and we listen. Not to grief, and not bounty.



Lauren Camp is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo). Winner of the Dorset Prize and a finalist for the Arab American Book Award, her poems have been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic.




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