Lynn Strongin

For my beloved and all those who survive isolation. . .

FROM THE AHSES OF AMENS, I rise to draw the window sash; pewter plate sings silver, again it is morning;

porcelain rings its shine; I am yours; you are mine. An isolated purple crystal, cancer cell spells the binding loss.

Each curl of Titus’ red gold locks, Rembrandt’s son shocks.

Rose bush, hush: horns first

Like the spiked helmet on my boy doll. He is a soldier. Silk sand I sift.

I make myself a gift: a ghost-dress. The blind girl reaches for her rouge, round stick lip color.

From ashes rises a Jacob’s letter: beach match-stix:

Over this loss, a poor fix:

That praise. You must prise from rubble.

A small figure a girl

Who begins moving lips pearl lips, then silence covers night bush, child & me again. Amen.

Lynn Strongin


The drill

Rattling the whole body.

Photographs come up in isolation: they are silent. But. . .

I won’t relent.

Searching, sourcing out your pain

Beloved: the child in corner crayoning.

Be loved—after two-hundred years of slumber:

This time, all time, the second hand moving.

Luminous, against despair, a shine hits us in the eyes:

Between the coal face & the mine.

Lynn Strongin


We blaze: the pandemic, caregivers come & go:

like orchids in the snow brilliance blooms in our private alcove: we are.

In deep Greenwood

That community carved out long ago.

so frank & so tender.

Unpacking metaphors, like

The red crayon which breaks in half in its wrapper,

Wax dust falls: what to draw with it? stick-figure child? Your look is fierce, then mild:

It is autumn. Outside. Will it ever become tomorrow?

I fervently admire economy in sorrow.

Lynn Strongin

IN MY bucket -list Oysters at the edge of salt marsh

Was I in a steel-toe mood?

Some surprise, some reprise in our lives

My net is full of little minnows, stars

Floating scars. But there is a fair in town: false cheer, kewpie dolls. I hide tears.

Give me back the password to my darling. Affection flushed out of the bush like quail.

Bring me bright lipstick thru this dark day.

Discount Liquor’s neon

Piggly Wiggly the way

To go: hardware stores to buy

nails, the oysters pale as the salt marsh: feel the marriage frail.