Sister Sirens



by Ann LaBar

When I arrive, my father will ask,
“They pay you for that?”

And I will answer no.  Payment
For poetry is rarely legal tender.

It is broken barrettes, non-pareils while
The house burns, calves

In veal pens, and occasionally
Vanity.  And who am I to say

This to a man turning 88
Watching turkey vultures in his yard

As he recalls swimming through
The flood waters of ’42,

Past sewage and the dead to get
Home from the mill.

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