Dan Lau


She laid there like a child,
my grandmother, like a child in a bed waiting
for her caretakers to wipe dry
the sweat she’d worked up

from breathing.  Her hand fighting
the mask strapped to her face

pushing air through her waterlogged lungs.
She turned to my father, gasping to find words
caught in the soup,

“What day is it?”
“Where is my daughter?”


One legged in a fluff of feathers
at the corner of our block,
the broken thing stood there

head nowhere to be seen.

As a child, I had the idea of nursing it, pushing
health through its stiffening body.

So, we chased it with an old paper box
with pencil-punched holes in the lid and on the sides.

We chased it in the street, up a driveway,

so we could take care of it
when all the thing wanted

was to die in the cold open air.