The Tower Journal

J. R. Solonche

Out of Nowhere

Out of nowhere, my daughter asks,
When nana died, were her eyes open or closed?

I cannot help looking into her eyes for a long time.
They want me to.
I see in them a dark sea with a storm in the distance.
It is receding over the horizon, not threatening shore.

Actually, I say, one eye was open and one closed.
You mean like this? Like a wink? she asks
while closing one eye and struggling to keep the other open.
Yes. That’s right, I say. It was a wink.

It was a wink.
It was the wink of the dead.
It was the I-told-you-so-kiddo wink of the dead.

Copyright © 2018 J. R. Solonche

J. R. Solonche, Professor Emeritus of English at SUNY Orange, has been publishing poems in magazines and anthologies (more than 400) since the early 70s. He is author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (chapbook from Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today & Yesterday (forthcoming from Deerbrook Editions), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.

The Tower Journal
Summer  2018