Read by Maureen Alsop
My father’s body has become a crippled shrine,
a complex-compound formula misfiring.
Three times daily he takes up our offerings
of L-dopa laced through with regret —
not for falling ill but for all our missteps
and shuffling when in his prime.
For years, we spun in silence and insomnia.
Moon blind, my mother holds a gavel poised
above her bird-shaped prayers. One more
visit to his doctor and she’ll loose her swing,
bringing a judgment down on all our heads,
a flutter of bruised wings. Now, there’s no god
left in this universe to hear my confession.