Lynne Burnett


Morning Blessing

One large glass of water daily
before the endless cups of green tea,

a glass that stood wrapped
a long time in my father’s two hands,

head bowed to it, eyes closed
to the rest of us at the table.

I didn’t know what he thought
or felt or said to himself right then

nor how thirsty I was
for a silence so meant

until I felt it filling me too,
slaking the cracked creekbed

of rushed and ordinary days.
Fifty-five years old and home for a visit,

back in the cradle
of his slow kind hands.

 

 


Kindness

When Camel-heavy lungs finally shrank
my father’s world to a bed by the window,
on sunny winter days his bed
became a beach where he lay,
pajama top unbuttoned, hairless chest
exposed, the whooshing surf
of the oxygen tank now pleasing.

And the sun, unmitigated by a pane of glass
or the pain of a rationed breath,
was kindness itself, bestowing the
warmth of many hands it seemed,
keeping the dying fire inside aglow
long after it reached the end
of his square footage of sky.


 

 

 



Lynne Burnett lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies in the US and Canada. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee, she won the 2016 Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize and 2019 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook “Irresistible” in 2018.