Monday, November 07, 2011

What’s Left Behind: Poems by Michal Mahgerefteh

What’s Left Behind
Poems by Michal Mahgerefteh
Poetica Publishing Co.
Copyright © 2011 by Michal Mahgerefteh
ISBN: 978-0-9836410-2-5
Softbound, 31 pages, $15

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

This book is dedicated by the author “to my father, for his unconditional love and support of my mother.” It is a book about the author’s mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer a the age of 41 and supported by her husband for the next 25 years. It is a book of poetry titles such as “For Twenty-Five Years,” “The Dy of Mother’s Passing,” “Things She Left Behind,” “The Agony of Looking Back” and “Portrait of a Man.” It is a book of grief and grieving and no happy ending except just reality as in “The Day of Mother’s Passing:”

edgy conversations erupt around the room
Mother’s sisters assess her display of bodily decline
over the years their strong bond easily tested
by tender emotions but tonight stitched to perfection

the light of life fades from Father’s face
as he prepares to accept the inevitable
staring at his swollen diabetic feet
wishing he could command this moment

Or in the poem “During the Shivah”

our house
holds its breath in mourning

Father in his bereavement
speaks only when necessary

he just sits there
stiff against the rough Mediterranean

till the mist rolls in
softening the sharp edges of the shoreline

with a slow sway
turning to blue—black bowl of night sky

These are raw emotional images of death and mourning that fill this book, no moments of happiness, right to the end of the book with “No More Hurt” in her father’s voice:

they want me to cover the mirrors
with black cloth
to avoid my mournful reflection
to think about you

the last twenty-five years
were all about you
no, I no longer care about cancer and death
Your Cancer—Your Death

all I want is to flee from your dark days
that sealed My Book of Life
until the hurt no longer
bears your name

Yes, this is a sad book, but one that may help others whose family has suffered the terrible effects of terminal illness that has extended itself for many years and affected family members. It may not provide the hope or the answers people seek, but it will help them cope when they see others have gone through their anguish.

No comments:

Post a Comment