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Family faces modulate

like variations on a theme,

so that in chordal passages

the decades shift without a seam,


the living echoing the dead

to dress themselves in borrowed grace.

I like to find my father's look

safe in my son's unwounded face.


Such grave harmonics lend us back

the only paradise we know;

an idle game with time, but still,

not bad, as resurrections go.


Rhina P. Espaillat



From Landscapes with Women: Four
American Poets,
Singular Speech Press,
1999.  Reprinted by permission of the

Background by Savanna

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