Before Alzheimers visited
her like a swarm

of bats, Jean Valentine
wrote Lucy,  a chain

of poems about the fossilized
skeleton of a hominid, half

my size.        Lucy
is part prayer, part

struggle.      Faceless
presence, a repository

of grief           & source
of the poet’s comfort. A black

& white shot of her looks
like broken

jewelry.     No table
of contents, few titles, many

repeating images —- spiders,
stars,            wildflowers.   Rilke,

Chekhov,                   Williams

one long poem of      bone
fragments    stubbornly

punctuated. Poetry of      open
doors, of possibilities, empathy,

emptiness.           Breadcrumbs
scattered        on a bare

kitchen counter,  flower
seeds, whispered          notes

of lullabies. Glimpses
of the lost

                & forgotten.
How do you translate

the unconscious & invisible?
When Jean Valentine’s memories

began to    unfasten
it was clear —-  she was floating      away

once & for all
from the book of fathers.

Jean & Lucy          now singing
from the marrow,       liberated

from     curse.        Jean & Lucy,
receivers of the dead

& unborn, wildflowers
that break rock.