For Grace Hackel Lebow.

I’m embracing your existence today, Grace
glad and gratified that
I could trace the points in your pen lines
count the collage of your achievements
I entered your orbit after you formed the arc of your profession
the expansive family sphere


But I’ve seen the circle of your heart take on textures over the years

You’ve surveyed the banks of many streams,
supervised excavations with untrimmed ear

I can only paraphrase your burgundy desires
undertake restoration of an evening bourbon
alliterate your angles

(relating, reliving,
readying, relieving)

As a waif tracing the stone-faced streets of a corrosive city
you gathered the long strands of indifferent guardianship
scavanging hard-won experiences
placing pegs in the cliffs of social services
and effecting through your efforts
an ecology of endeavors
a portfolio of care and caring
an approbation of affect

This poem was published in issue #4 of Ranger magazine in 2024.

Andy Oram
November 22, 2023

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