Authors and Poets
Authors and Poets

Photos used with permission from the Academy of American Poets

Last updated:
September 5, 2018
Lori M. Cameron, editor

There You Were – Deanna Shapiro

—for “Icy”

– Deanna Shapiro

I requested, silently implored
the agency to send a nurse
of quiet temperament
whom my mother could tolerate
in her perturbed state
as my father lay dying.

And there you were,
in starched uniform with lace edges,
solid Jamaican body
taking up residence in the den,
gentle with my father,
resourceful for my mother.

There you were,
moving slowly through the shadows
of the day, carrying a handkerchief
with your Bible, sitting in a chair,
reading the Scriptures, a holy woman
in the desert of our family.

There you were,
modeling tranquility and strength,
reminding me of God’s presence,
taking me to a higher plane.

I cried in your arms
when I left.


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