The day my sister’s cancer staked its claim
I learned that Milosz left Harry Potter
on his desk when he died, his letters
from the pope piling up in his mailbox.
And what letters. Two old Poles talking life:
“Ah Czeslaw,” says the pope, “I’m just the grease.
You’ll have to talk to the wheels.” No one knows
the question, but this is a pope I can
get behind. Humble. Humorous. Infallible.
And I think of me and the pope: he’ll let me
call him Karol as he tours me through
the Vatican, and we’ll send papal envoys
for pizza, and on his day off we’ll visit
the Fiat factory in Turin, stick our fingers
in mounds of fresh ground pork at a local
grocery store, and he’ll teach me the Polish
folk tunes sung before the war. And I’ll get
to a Mass or two in Latin or Italian,
and late one night I’ll find decorum
and a minute to ask the question I came
all this way to resolve: the thing about
my sister. And you know the thing he’ll say
about my sister, about the angel on his right
and the grim believability of it all.
“And” is reprinted from Santa Clara Review.
Rylie Dodd buys cowboy shirts for her husband Jeffrey G. Dodd. The couple lives in Spokane, WA, but he’s from southeast Texas and sometimes needs his homesickness eased. Plus, the little pearlescent snaps are so crisp and tactile. Someday, she thinks, he’ll write a poem about them. The snaps, not the shirts. She’ll be featured prominently. Like his other poems, it may be published in journals such as Ruminate, Rock & Sling, Copper Nickel, and Meridian. She doesn’t tell him this; he doesn’t need the ego boost.