Phyllis Klein

Phyllis Klein‘s work has appeared or will appear in numerous journals and anthologies including Chiron ReviewPortsideSweet: A Literary Confection3ElementsPoetry HotelI-70California Fire and Water, and the Minnesota Review. She is a finalist in the Sweet Poetry Contest (2017), the Carolyn Forche Humanitarian Poetry Contest (2019), and the Fischer Prize (2019). She was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2018. Her book, The Full Moon Herald, was published by Grayson Books in 2020. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years, she sees writing as artistic dialogue between author and readers—an intimate relationship-building process that fosters healing on many levels.

Poem on Belonging

DURING THE PURPLE TIER SURGE BILL BROUGHT

his Thanksgiving port cranberry relish again. 
Its clamp-lidded glass jar. Its color of cinnabar, 
gift of considerable kitchen effort.

This year he was too weak to stir the ingredients 
into their elixir of wine-raisin-berry-sugar majesty, almost
too weak to exit his car’s passenger seat, definitely
unable to hand us the jar, stooped as he was like a very large
faded wind-up doll, power source dissipating. 

And even conversation impossible with masks on. 
This tradition, who can imagine its end—
this slowing down into final descent. He says 
he has no pain. Hover of wings in search of a soft landing. 

Copyright © 2021 by Phyllis Klein. This poem originally appeared in I-70 Review. Used with permission of the author.