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Smoothing Creases


I dig for photographs of you once more,

Wishing that you'd simply let me sleep.

Unhealthy? Yes, but if you didn't keep

Disturbing me, I wouldn't have this chore.

I keep them hidden in a dresser drawer,

Once mounted portraits now a wadded heap

Beneath old birthday cards, and other cheap

Reminders of the lives I keep in store.


I know it's strange to keep you buried here

In flimsy images I should have tossed

Along with ashtrays and your makeup case.

But digging deep, and seeing you appear

With crumpled features shows I haven't lost

My touch for smoothing creases in your face.


Jeff Holt



1997; originally printed in Sparrow.  Reprinted
by permission of the author.

 Background by
Purple Woods

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