, June 24, 2024

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Photo by Michal B on Unsplash

Intro by Ted Kooser

Car­ol L. Gloor is an attor­ney liv­ing in Chica­go and Savan­na, Illi­nois. I espe­cial­ly like this poem of hers for its pow­er­ful end­ing, which fit­ting­ly uses the legal lan­guage of trusts and estates.

By Carol L. Gloor

At the moment of my mother’s death
I am rinsing frozen chicken.
No vision, no rending
of the temple curtain, only
the soft give of meat.
I had not seen her in four days.
I thought her better,
and the hospital did not call,
so I am fresh from
an office Christmas party,
scotch on my breath
as I answer the phone.
And in one moment all my past acts
become irrevocable.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright © 2010 by Carol L. Gloor, whose chapbook is Assisted Living (Finishing Line Press, 2013). Poem reprinted from Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Vol. 25, no. 3, Winter 2010, by permission of Carol L. Gloor and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2023 by The Poetry Foundation.

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