Later by Cheryl Baldi


We speak in whispers,
move in silence
from room to room, listen
to the oxygen’s steady pump,
moisture bubbling through the tubes.
Three days unresponsive. I sit with her
until someone else comes in.
Years from now I will remember
these moments, the counter
scattered with crumbs
from half eaten sandwiches,
the tide low, winds calm,
Cormorants still perched
motionless in a line
along the pilings.
At first they seemed an omen,
messengers from the dead,
but I will wonder later
perhaps they were something other,
mournful attendants,
or angels, their black
wings spread wide
against the late day burn.


Cheryl Baldi is the author of The Shapelessness of Water and currently is at work on a new manuscript, In the Golden Hour, Cormorants. A former Bucks County Poet Laureate and a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she was a finalist for the Robert Frasier Award for Poetry and the Francis Locke Memorial Award. She has taught at Bucks County Community College, worked as a free- lance editor, and served as co-facilitator for community-based workshops exploring women’s lives through literature. She lives with her husband in Bucks County, PA and along the coast in New Jersey.

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