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Poet's Corner: "Here We Are"

Off to the stationery store on Avenue A

to buy paper and metal bookends.

At least 58 people died in Europe

this week in a brutal cold wave,

plunging temperatures to 17 degrees

below zero. When I step inside,

I'm suddenly phlegmy and coughing.

Blood starts pouring out of my

left nostril. A funny old woman

hidden inside a blue hooded coat darts out the door. Republicans point at the millions of immigrant

workers pouring into the country.

Then I look in the mirror and see

a funny looking old woman

with her head wrapped

like a mummy and a tissue stuck

in her nose. King Tut's mummy

was recently removed from

the sarcophagus, and placed

in a climate-controlled box

to be displayed at a museum in Luxor.

My husband often had a bloody nose.

Maybe we'll find each other

in another life. When I think of

losing my children, I feel my body

crack into pieces. China's cracking

down on subversive meditating

disciples of the Dalai Lama.

Be thankful for now, Barbara.

Today. This minute. Here we are.

-- Barbara Henning, from her collection in A DAY LIKE TODAY

(Negative Capability Press, 2015)

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