I’m retired from a variety of careers as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and have been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. I’m also the author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), although now I seem to know less than I did when I wrote those books. My poetry has appeared in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Buddhist Poetry Review, and The Nation. I ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where I write poetry and do fabric and paper art. www.JoanMazza.com
One photo captures my father’s frame.
Face muscles in knots, left hand gripping
his throat, mouth agape as if to gasp,
as he did in sleep between howls,
while all around him, neighbors celebrate
this block party with fireworks, barbeque,
and beer. In another photo, his grandson’s face
is painted with Flower Power because it’s 1972.
Flowing skirts swirl to a banjo, macramé
is in style, along with decoupage and tie dye,
but this man, older than his years, can’t see
or hear, his ears tied in a square knot,
clove hitch, granny knot, each cord
of rage braided so tight he can’t get loose
from his self-made noose, will never
let anyone close to untie that tangle.
©2015 Joan Mazza