In Extremis

By Stock, Doreen | Shofar, Summer 2018 | Go to article overview

In Extremis


Stock, Doreen, Shofar


For Chana Bloch

"The words of the dying are subject

to the laws of scarcity" you once wrote

in a poem juxtaposing the death of Socrates

with that of your own father.

Saving his "every spark"

into those notebooks

covered with pretend marble.

"Every spark" is what you left us,

but caught, breathed upon, flamed,

burnished, crafted and left to glow

a ner tamid on every page.

I picture you bending over your pen as it took

to paper, at the point of contact another poem,

Chana Bloch, juicy with your irony, and another

poem, Chana Bloch, wisely historic up to the present

moment, Chana, and another perfectly imaged, Chana

Bloch, and another, psychologically accurate, and another

throbbing.

I was not privileged to hear your last words, my friend,

and so I cling

to all the others. …

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