Parting Song by Sonja Johanson

Days after a heart is retracted
we only have the ability to do certain things.
We can go looking for answers in the blaze –
who is at fault, what the problems are,
the integrity used in two sets of images,
the skittish equation encompassing who we are –
the hardest battle when you’re working on
the fringe, they’re on view, at once stiff and florid.

Or, despite widespread public longing, we
can do things that are fun and whimsical: give
kisses to families handing out orange slices,
examine the regenerative capacity of the heart.
The beautiful taboo, unexpected terrain
of your life after a death. Beginners welcome.

Source text: Boston Globe, April 12, 2014
Sonja Johanson graduated from College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, ME., is a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, and is the 2015 recipient of the Zero Bone and Kudzu Poetry Prizes. Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.

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