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During the night, a poem by Laurel Smith



During the night                       

Another fall, hip

fracture: a new surgeon

aligning bone and

metal, charting a course for

your 96-year-old frame

on a vague sea, more

dream than distance with markers

    aimed to carry you   

home, only you’re no longer 

sure what home means: not

the farm where you rode

a pony and fed chickens,

    not the house where you

raised children and lost your mate,

not the well-appointed rooms

of your single life.  

Wait: some forward motion, some

backward drift, youthful

hands supporting your back, calm

as a mother with her small child, 

something said softly

then a door closed.  Journey and

    dream confused, tangled

like this too thin sheet wishing

itself a sail, homeward bound.

Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily participates in projects to promote literacy, the arts, social justice, and public health. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Natural Bridge, New Millennium Writings, English Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Flying Island; also in the following anthologies: And Know This Place; Mapping the Muse; Visiting Frost.