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Monday, December 08, 2014


by Joan Mazza

Claudia Emerson, Florida, 2008. Photo by Joan Mazza.

Even when your flame flickered, you still

shone in photos of the stitches of your

upper arm, broken when opening a jar.

Through surgeries and radiation, you coupled

your words with music, stanzas we entered

unafraid. You kept your smile when your hair

fell out, and showed us how to fall in love

with love again when you and Kent gazed

at each other. You said that when you were gone

women would line up around the block

with casseroles for Kent. He’s widowed

twice now. Another late wife.

Before your brain surgery, you wrote,

I hope I wake up! and you did.

How we’ll miss your light and words.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize nominee. Author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Kestrel, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Buddhist Poetry Review, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.