Logan Square East, Philadelphia, PA
by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal
“A noiseless, patient spider, I mark’d, where on a little
promontory it stood isolated…”
Mother dozes in her Geri chair, the corners
of her mouth cradling oatmeal I’d fed her
earlier. A lifetime ago she told me she’d been
a tomboy. This wilting stranger, once that girl,
once my father’s bride, wakes, grimaces silent,
her hands gripping the wheelchair. Beneath
furrowed brow, her eyes squint shut, head bows.
Could she be praying to a god I don’t know?
I search her wrinkle-lined face for signs of pain,
press random places on her body thinking if I hit
upon a hurt she’ll wince. She’s still. I’m heartsick
not knowing what she’s feeling, thinking, would say
if only the phantom spinner hadn’t seized her
& squeezed her last trace of speech out
weeks ago. Now, only a vacant stare & a patient
all-knowing spider eyeballing me.
Ruth Sabath Rosenthal is an internationally published, Pushcart-nominated poet. For more about the poet, visit her websites: newyorkcitypoet.com, bigapplepoet.com, and poetrybyruthsabathrosenthal.com.
Ruth won our ‘Fundamental Change’ competition which ran March-April 2020, you can read her winning poem, Game Theory, here.
Our Reader said:
The way this poem compresses time, and re-presents the familiar as strange, is something I waited for in this theme. “Heartsick” is the word the poem uses, and I have little more to say.