she was beautiful
before that sotted boy
wrecked both of their lives.
nearly twenty-one summers -
had scarcely begun living.
pale, wasted... daughter...
a year since the accident -
with no sign of life
save the slow beat of your heart
as i speak to you each night.
-may 8
we are forlorn now -
friends stopped coming long ago -
only i remain...
while i try to reach her mind
science preserves her body
needles in her arms
and tubes in her nostrils
and other places...
weeping with bitter sorrow
i keep trying to touch her.
birthday yesterday,
a cupcake with one candle
now she's twenty-two
a wish sweetheart, please return
then extinguish the lone flame.
-august 3
december nineteenth
forearm next to whitened hand
i read Bard aloud.
dawn outside, it's time to leave,
eyes closed, i pray for movement
today - for the first time
she reached out and touched my arm
tears rolled down my face.
finally - sign of a mind
within her broken body.
© Copyright 1989 Sheppard <sheppard @ cs.unm.edu> Contact the author for publication permission.