A Word

Angel of Death 1959 Leonard Baskin Born: New Brunswick, New Jersey 1922 Died: Northampton, Massachusetts 2000 woodcut on paper image: 61 1/4 x 30 1/4 in. (155.6 x 76.8 cm)

A Word


For A.B.

She said God. He seems to be there
when I call on Him but calling
has been difficult too. Painful.
And as she quieted to find
another word, I was delivered
once more to my own long grappling
with that very angel here — still
here — at the base of the ancient
ladder of ascent, in foul dust
languishing yet at the very
bottom rung, letting go my grip
long before the blessing.



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