Poems & Essays

24 Aug

Cliff Face

General/Column No Response

David shaves his father
Every week
A pilgrimage, a conversation
Because the nurses are not good enough

For a job only a son can do
A return, a tithe
He guides his hand the way
His father once did
Along the paths now trembling hands
Once had swept with such surety

Nothing is sure now:
What an unruly son learns at the mirror
(Pressed against it as his father guides)
Is this – a meditation in reverse –
Scraping away at the old each day, each week

Later becomes a homage at the cliff face
The sweet-sourness of breath and skin

Today the razor wrapped in its innocence
Lies on the kitchen table
There will be no more missives, no more service
Perhaps David will shave his own beard now
At the alter of his basin and his grief

Louella Sullivan is a mom, English teacher and Pilates instructor. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes in 2014. Her poems, described as “poised and vivid”, have appeared in Aerodrome, New Contrast, New Coin and Itch. In 2017, her first poetry collection “Salt” was published. It was hailed as “a delicately woven account of pregnancy and birth.” She is presently working on a second book and dreaming of a PhD.

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