Neil Silberblatt

The Visit (for Joe G.) by Neil Silberblatt

When I entered, the door and your lips
were both ajar,
parted slightly to let others
know you were still breathing
as they silently reviewed your vitals,
not as vital as they once were.
I did not call before coming,
certain that you would say not to bother
certain that I would ignore you
certain of little else.
As you slept, I stole one of the errant
grapes from your tray table
as it rolled closer to the lime green
sugar-free Jello, so tepid and so tasteless,
glancing at your well-balanced meal
and you
both going to waste.
I wanted to rub your hands
or a rosary, but
did not know which knuckle or bead
represented grace
and which
the hour of our parting.

“The Visit (for Joe G.)” from Past Imperfect (Nixes Mate Books, 2018).
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Neil Silberblatt’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetica Magazine, The Aurorean, Two Bridges Review, Ibbetson Street Press, Naugatuck River Review, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Canopic Jar, First Literary Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Mixes Mate Review, and The Good Men Project. His work has also been, or will soon be, published in various anthologies, including Confluencia in the Valley, The First Five Years of Converging with Words (Naugatuck Valley Community College, 2013); University of Connecticut’s Teacher-Writer magazine; Collateral Damage (Pirene’s Fountain); and Culinary Poems (Glass Lyre Press). He has published three poetry collections: So Far So Good (2012), Present Tense (2013), and most recently Past Imperfect (Nixes Mate Books, 2018). He is also founder/director of Voices of Poetry, and host of the Poet’s Corner radio program featured on WOMR/WFMR out of Provincetown MA.