Issue 2poetry

Parent and Child

by Rebecca Ruvinsky

A sense of living already
in the past. He is looking
at a dying woman while
she is breathing. Eating.
She can only eat soft food,
but she tries some of his.
Chews. Spits out what she
can’t swallow, but she lives
off of the flavor. Jokes, I don’t need
the calories anyway
.

Five years after the funeral, her
son wonders if he should spare
his father, who still asks every half-hour
where she is. Loss accumulates:
sadness without reason, not knowing
why. Roles reversed, both parent
and child have grown old, tired. The son wants
to lie, say, It’s okay. She’s just
in the other room
.

Rebecca Ruvinsky is a student, poet, and emerging writer in Orlando, Florida. She has kept a streak of writing a poem every day since 2016, with work published or forthcoming in Prospectus Literary, Sylvia Magazine, Underland Arcana, From the Farther Trees, Overheard Lit, Floresta Magazine, and others.  She can be found at @writeruvinsky.