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Brian Hughes

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Member Since: Feb, 2010

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the endangered species
by Brian Hughes
Monday, February 15, 2010
Not rated by the Author.
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Recent poems by Brian Hughes
•  gutted
•  nana
•  lottery me this
•  the seed
•  maze of corn
           >> View all 25

my nana
spoke of a dream she had
when i visited her
at the hospital

 

it was of a
large cat

sitting on her hospital window ledge-
refusing
to go away

 

this
rock granite woman-
nails and hands like anvils-
helped raise
brother Vince and i with
an endearing chocolate pudding inside

and loving heart

 

now
there was nothing either

Vince nor i could do for
her

 

another soldier of
the depression-
leaving us,
when our times needed them
the most

 

a people of
iron lungs, tragedy, and
simple pleasures

 

and the woman

lying beside Nana in

bed 521A

had stopped eating-

her mouth fixed wide open, as

if frozen in a Pompeii scream-

her husband looking over

a wife

he no longer knew

 

“I’m not going to come back

unless you

start eating,” her husband said.

 

i can understand

the not eating bit,

i thought to myself,

as Nana

stared at her

untouched food tray

 

the kind and patient nurse

would put Nana

back into her bed-

and Nana would

moan weakly

 

Nana’s gray and thin hair-

long like her

vibrant red fingernails

use to rake through

my curly brown hair

 

and as I stared at
her pasty pallor,

thoughts of the

USO, of

Bing Crosby, of

homemade italian diners,

of the Steel Pier, of

the Make Believe Ballroom,

went crashing to pieces down

the long

elevator shaft in my head

 

i didn’t want to leave

Nana-

but she didn’t know to stop

me

 

i went home and

played back

the messages on

my answering machine-

 

my mom had phoned-

she and her brother had

decided on

a closed coffin

 

i sat down

and

waited



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