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"Mixed Leaves”
by
Alison Parham

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Diane Dobrin Grunes

Because It Was You

Because it was yours
I keep the outdated dress
in my closet and when
I pass it up while looking
for something to wear
my fingers touch the worn
cotton you relied on for
warmth and it comforts me
and I pause to take a longer
look remembering when I
saw you last and the day we
sat at your kitchen table making
jewelry I knew you'd never
wear but wished to and
Maya was there, too and she
helped with the enthusiastic
curiosity of a young girl who
wants to mimic her mother
and impress her aunt and
together the three of us shaped
cut and melted the colored
plastic until it formed what
we later stood back and
marveled at and you were
too tired to stay up to eat
dinner even though I had
prepared your favorite soup
and I was o.k. with that
because it was you.
Ever So Slowly

My father is leaving
Ever so slowly
He hasn’t packed
He hasn’t showered
Purchased a ticket
Or visited the ATM for travel money

He has no map
No suitcase
No ride to the airport
No arrangements for pick-up
My father has no plans

He is lost
Don’t ask him where he’s headed
My father won’t know
He can describe his own father’s candy and cigar store in East Orange, New Jersey
In complete detail
Like he was just there
The day before

He says he hasn’t seen my kids for years
He asks me to visit soon
He forgot
We just sat together for Thanksgiving

Does he remember building the swing set
In our back yard on Edgehill Drive
The glider
The sliding board
How Jill and I scratched our names
Into the wet cement
He poured to keep the play structure steady
Safe
Permanent

My father is leaving
Ever so slowly
He has no plans
I hope he keeps in touch
Says good-bye

DIANE DOBRIN GRUNES ­– began co-writing short mystery stories, with her best friend, Caryl, in 7th grade. From there, writing took a backseat to the visual arts, and then returned when Diane began writing for her stand-up and solo performances. Her work, then, and today, is memoir, and her writing group often provides the jumping point. Diane thanks her teachers, Patrice Vecchione, Claudia Sternbach, and Clifford Henderson, for their guidance and support.

In Celebration of the Muse
Brianna Barreto
Donna Becker
Deborah Bryant
Ruth Elliott
Susan Freeman
Patricia Grube
Diane Dobrin Grunes
Geneffa Popatia Jonker
Sylvia Patience
Jennifer Pittman
Bernice Rendrick
Dena Taylor
Louise Thornton
Patrice Vecchione
Renee Winter
J. Zimmerman

Rosie King for Tilly Shaw

Barbara Bloom for Joan Safajek

Featured Artist
Alison Parham

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