—after Jim Moore
But I’m not ready, my father says,
to be taken off the playing field—
and first I bring him shells that hold
the sea. Then river stones. Then I
bring his favorite recordings
of Paul Robeson singing spirituals
and lullabies. These make him cry.
And it’s only now, two decades
later, that I see my error: All he needed
was for me to be with him. To step
closer to his bedside. To allow into my heart
what flooded his—all that loneliness.
Laura Ann Reed holds a dual undergraduate degree in French/Comparative Literature from The University of California, Berkeley, and subsequently completed master’s degree programs in the Performing Arts and Clinical Psychology—prior to working as a leadership development trainer at the San Francisco headquarters of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. She and her husband currently reside in western Washington. Her work has been anthologized in How To Love the World, and is forthcoming in the SMEOP anthology: HOT, and in the anthology, The Wonder of Small Things. Her poems have appeared in Swimm and The Ekphrastic Review, among other journals.