Camille: Child of Divorce

by Lynn Strongin


Camille: Child of Divorce

had made it the 1000 miles thru the Rockies with her daddy who is divorced, a weekend daddy, the split seed     the divided god
to deliver the car
in Albuquerque. I fried porkchops the first night, despite the heat              despite being a Jew
in a scold that would melt glass
the saints
the Foursquare Baptist Church down the Block.
Camille the flower comes up like an iron camellia        twisted poking thru the pavement, smiling, hopping first on one foot then the other one.

“Have you changed your underpants?” I ask the seven year old.
She shook her head      I felt my own unborn child

sliding from me         a still carriage                with rolling wheels as Old Mother shakes her finger
a gray wagging clothespin        a tongue
on Southern
or New England dawn
a tilting cart:
camellia        slid            (Once we were beautifully young now are beautifully aging)
        All bloods frozen
in its petals:
out of the birth canal into the midwife’s arms in the box of the birthing room
all the babies blue, and almond-white, & carrot-tops     red.




Lynn Strongin has seven published books, poems in fifty journals, thirty anthologies,

in four countries: Canada, the States, Italy, and England. She lives in Canada although is a native -born American. Her anthology The Sorrow Psalms: A Book of Twentieth Century Elegy will be published by the University of Iowa Press April, 2006. Lynn has two chapbooks forthcoming in the next year; Dovey & Me, from Solo Press, June, 2006 and The Birds of the Past Are Singing from Cross-Cultural Communications.




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