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A Poem: Two Secrets 

Dear grandpa,
the eldest.
I never met you
I know you only from my mother’s lips.
When I ask her to tell me
she pauses, closes,
keeps bits in.
I can tell
by the way she looks down.

I know you were sick
I know things were hard
I know it makes her sad to remember.

But I know there were good parts too.
Round parts, whole parts.
Dinners and favorite jokes;
trips to the beach.

I’ve read a few of your poems.
I don’t understand them all—
but most poems
read like secrets.

Here’s mine:
Sometimes
I’m afraid that I’m like you.
Sometimes I’m afraid
that when my baby’s babies ask
(Sylvie,
the eldest)
it will make her sad to remember.

So just in case, here’s another.
A good part, a true part:
I loved to sing. I would close my eyes and sing when no one else was watching.

  • A poem by Sylvie Lubow.

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