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Alison Hawthorne Deming
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Poet and essayist Alison Hawthorne Deming was born in Connecticut in 1946...
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FURTHER READING
Poems about Brothers
Dead Brother Super Hero
by Michael Dickman
deeper than dirt
by Rachel McKibbens
Killing Flies
by Michael Dickman
Kingdom Animalia
by Aracelis Girmay
My Brother's Mirror
by Donald Platt
To My Brother Miguel in memoriam
by Cťsar Vallejo
Poems about Loss
Affirmation
by Donald Hall
Ashes
by Paula Meehan
Burning the Old Year
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Catastrophe Theory III
by Mary Jo Bang
Challenger
by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Dove, Interrupted
by Lucie Brock-Broido
Etta's Elegy
by Maureen Seaton
from Projection
by Lidija Dimkovska
Haunted
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Headaches
by Marilyn Hacker
Heavy Summer Rain
by Jane Kenyon
I Found Her Out There
by Thomas Hardy
I'll Try to Tell You What I Know
by Martha Serpas
Loss
by Carl Adamshick
Making Apple Sauce with my Dead Grandmother
by Bianca Stone
On Disappearing
by Major Jackson
please advise stop [I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop]
by Rusty Morrison
Radar Data #12
by Lytton Smith
Room in Antwerp
by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Song ["When I am dead, my dearest"]
by Christina Rossetti
the lost baby poem
by Lucille Clifton
The Power of the Dog
by Rudyard Kipling
To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like a Death
by Lloyd Schwartz
Token Loss
by Kay Ryan
When They Die We Change Our Minds About Them
by Jennifer Michael Hecht
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Stairway to Heaven

 
by Alison Hawthorne Deming

The queen grows fat beneath my house
while drones infest the walls

reconnaissance to feed her glut,
wood ripped from studs and joists.

Iíll pay to drill the slab and ruin
her pestilential nest. How to find 

the song in this dayís summons? 
Iíve been accused of darkness 

by my inner light. My brother sits 
in the chemo chair another long day 

of toxic infusion, the house of his body—
bones, brain and balls gone skeltering. 

I sit in my parked car listening 
to Robert Plant recall how the English 

envied the Americans for getting 
the blues, getting all of it, into song.

I remember the dream where 
brother and sister, adult and equal, 

lean and white as lilies, as bare, 
dove into a mountain lake, black water, 

high elevation, fir trees growing 
in flood water that had joined 

two lakes into one. Do you ever dream 
of animals, I ask him, hospice bed 

looking out on a plywood squirrel 
perched on cement block wall.
  
Frequently. A lilt of surprising joy. What kind?  
Mostly the jungle animals. Then: Iím going 

to do my exercises now. What exercises?  
I like pacing, he said, immobilized 

upon his death nest of nine pillows.
Then he closed his eyes to become the inward one 

whose only work was to wear a pathway 
back and forth within his enclosure. 
About this poem:
"I can't seem to stop carrying my brother around on my back since he died in May 2011. I think of the way Aeneas carried his father Anchises out of defeat, but the stuff of my days is all here on the horizontal plane: termites, cancer, Led Zeppelin, and my devotion to the animal world. These all fell together one day into this poem."

—Alison Hawthorne Deming






Copyright © 2014 by Alison Hawthorne Deming. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 24, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
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