Chana Bloch


			for my father

You and I used to talk about
Lear and his girls 
(I read it in school,

you saw it on the Yiddish stage
where the audience yelled:			 
Don't believe them,

they're rotten)—
that Jewish father and his
suburban daughters.

Now I'm here with the rest,
smelling the silences,
watching you

What will it look like?
Lost on the bed

without shoes, without lungs,
you won't talk
except to the wall: I'm dying,			 

and to the nurse: Be 				 
careful, I
may live.

What does a daughter say
to the bones
that won't answer—
Thank you to the nice man?
The last time					

we went to the Bronx Zoo,
the elephants were smelly as ever,
all those warm Sundays,

the monkeys as lewd.
But they put the penguins
behind curved glass					

with a radiant sky
painted on the far wall.
And all those birds

lined up with their backs to us
watching the wrong