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Jan/Feb 2007 Poetry

Caregiver

by Arlene Ang

Artwork by Ira Joel Haber


Caregiver

A woman slices apples on the counter;
reflected sun on knife hurts my eyes:
it is easy to look away. Radio static fizzles

Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. She talks
of shasklik, zharkoye, potato varenikió
her accent strong, like the smell of mutton
casserole in a closet. The kitchen

has rose inlay on off-white cupboards,
flamingo tiles that camouflage slivers
of broken glass, an empty umbrella stand.
Nausea perspires through my upper lip

as she tosses fruit, chicken liver,
poached eggs, wild rice in the blender:
a plug and a twirl and her hand pours
contents into a tall glass. She tells me

how her mother died, alone, north of
the Kremlin, in the bathtub, fingers clutching
a crucifix; she tells me how lucky I am.

 

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