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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

DEAR 2022

an abecedarian
by Susan Vespoli

Au revoir, heaviest year of my life,
bringer of shit and light,
carrier of catastrophe, 
death of my adult kid by bullet
explosion. It’s hard to say the word “dead,”
followed by the word “Adam.” I look for a
gentler way to say, “murdered son.”
How about “deceased,” or “angel son,” or
“invisible winged-son,” or “no longer
journeying on the physical plane.”
Kris, my cash-pay splurge of a
long-term therapist planted a
metaphor to help me
navigate: walking
over an abyss, holding a balancing
pole made of coping tools to remain
quaver-proof, (like poetry, therapy, 12-step, being in the
right-here-right-now), the rod’s weight increa-
-sing my moments of inertia,
tamping my tendency to fall. And I
understand, so I trek, carrying his
vivid lucence, his essence, as I
wire-walk, step tip to toe, eyes on
xystus on the other side of this
year, where I will enter 2023, sit cross-legged
zazen on the floor and breathe, Adam with me still. 

Editor's Note: The New Verse News previously published three of long-time contributor Susan Vespoli's poems about the killing of her son by police:  "Before I Knew Adam Had Died" and "My Ex-Husband Calls To Tell Me Our Son Has Been Shot By Police," and "Police Violence in Reverse."

Susan Vespoli writes from Phoenix, Arizona where police violence and the criminalization of homelessness are alive and well.