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When I brought her out to the place after Father died,

months after we put her in a home

she went to the window, where I had opened the drapes;

she spread her arms up to the light, saying

Oh, the mountains.

.

There they were rocking

in a sea of veiled lavender twilight

striations of crimson clouds, contrails

and geese arrowing off toward Medicine Bow.

So it was that she could have remembered light

when she lay dying.

ii

I go down the stairs with trepidation,

dragging my broken leg in its brace,

the leg that will not heal,

now like a question mark made of iron,

.

I am like a bear pulling loose from a tree,

bringing the stump with me

To the softness of afternoon, the mare I slipped from

grazing on emerald grass

Never Summer mountains in the distance

.

At my back, the dark circle of rooms where I have felt safe

the redolent bedroom with lace curtains,

Brahms in the dark,

dolls with upturned faces

in damask bonnets,

a candle beneath a cross

.

My heart breaks when I think of it

so long in a prison of fear

a cave devoid of angels

Where is the true break, the real fracture:

I caress the face I see in the mirror

and anoint it with cold water.

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