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Editor's Note



 Three Poems
by Anina Robb

Magical Thinking

Why doesn't he remember me? My daughter
asks as she stirs chocolate-chip cookie dough
at the kitchen counter. I am caught
off-guard with a sticky spoon lifted like
a flashlight, wishing it would light
the way to an easy explanation.

I run through the possible responses--
he's not himself, he's getting old,
he's sick. Yes, I say as if our conversation
had already begun, he's been sick
since before you were born.

Holding her spoon, thick with batter
my daughter smiles. I am a wizard:
she waves her raw wand and in a bite
it is stripped down to a spitty scepter.
We will bring Zeyda my cookies tomorrow.
They will help him remember.

The Stain

Will he die? My son whispers
from the back seat. Yes.

Each day, my father is fading out:
A slow wash away from names and streets
My kiss cannot cleanse him, cannot control the quivering.

He sleeps when he stops: at the table,
in the car, on the toilet.
It will be a long night.

Through a film I feel myself bathed
in his baritone at the foot of my childhood
bed, waiting for night to take me.

I strap-in my son.


My dad's life has been reduced
to this.

My mother says: it's not so bad--
he's settled.

Settled? I wonder.
As if he determined this fate

Resolved to end this way
in a chair, drooling.

Maybe settled like a house
creaking into its frame or settled
like soup the heavier bits
sifting to the bowl's bottom
or settled like a long fight.

But I am decidedly
unsettled. Yet I take a seat
next to my dad. It's all
there is to do now. We sit
down, calm
down sink

Anina Robb is a 43 year old poet living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, son, daughter, cat & dog. She earned a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and has published numerous poems in both online and print editions. In 2013 & 2014 her poems will appear in the journals Juked, Florida English, and Works & Days.

Copyright 2013, © Anina Robb. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.