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Also by Bart Edelman:
Your Father's Ghost | Forgiveness | Bashevis | In Albany Love

also see Kate Gray's review of The Gentle Man


Forgiveness

She knows now,
Yet never lets on.
The briefly mentioned name
Rings like any other:
Two syllables lightly pronounced,
An iamb of decency
Fills the friendly kitchen
Where we speak through morning tea.

At another time—
In this same place—
The voices of distant wolves
Were the only company
We kept for years.
And then the irremediable silence,
So stuffed with suffering;
We thought we'd lost it all,
And begged to die
Before the next night fell.

The long trail to forgiveness
Sweeps behind the house we share
And runs along a rocky creek,
Where water gently flows
When rain collects there.
Here, we beat yesterday's clothes
Against the smooth gray stones
And slowly watch old stains
Drain into the surface below.

Printed in the Fall/Winter 1999 issue of CLR

Bart Edelman Bart Edelman

Bart Edelman is a professor of English at Glendale College in Glendale, California, where he is the editor of Eclipse, a literary journal. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships to study literature in India, Egypt, Nigeria, and Poland. His work has appeared in newspapers, journals, and anthologies. His poetry collections include Crossing the Hackensack (Prometheus Press, 1993), Under Damaris' Dress (Lightning Publications, 1996), The Alphabet of Love (Red Hen Press, 1999), and The Gentle Man (Red Hen Press, 2001).

You can find Bart Edelman on the web at:
—  Glendale College
—  The Gentle Man
—  Alphabet of Love
—  Under Damaris' Dress
—  Crossing the Hackensack
—  Amazon
—  Barnes & Noble


Published by Clackamas Literary Review, in print and on the web at
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Copyright 2001-2002, Clackamas Community College