My 2012 in Pictures

The Losses:

My 84-year-old mom holding her 9-year-old self

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and two weeks before she passed, my father-in-law also did along with his pocketful of index cards and pens so he’d never lose an important thought

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The Blessings:

A week at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers

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and the crescent shadows during the solar eclipse

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The Joyous Victories:

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The Discoveries:

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Toni Littlejohn’s art

and Rain Fingerhut’s voice

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Peace to all of you throughout the New Year!

Elizabeth

Pentimento

How his crew cut head froze, poised above the place I could not see between my thighs, his short rodent hair arcing from my hairless mound, my mind providing the anesthesia of amnesia as if a spinal block flowed through a slender needle, numbing my body clean. And now that you’ve cut your long wheat field hair, he is the one I see near my belly, holding a switchblade against the rivulets of warmth that run from your tongue through my lips, radiating out hips thighs breasts arching back outstretched fingers. Remembering till now only my hatred of him, but as your fingers touch my inner thigh, images slice through muscle of his hand on my throat, palm in my stomach, head pressed into the opening I could not see, and I want to run from your arms which have held me warm against your chinchilla skin. As your pomegranate taste hits the back of my throat, his rancid stench catches, numbs my body clean.

Thank you to the editor of Rising to the Dawn for publishing this poem.