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            Michael H. Levin: Poems and Prose  

INHERITANCE



Turns out he’s afraid

I’ll get better and leave him

alone to suffer our disease.

So I said, gnarling the words:

maybe you won’t play violin

any more. But you can sing.

And damn, right there, age ten,


he did. What fathers share with

sons cannot be captured live

for as he sang I felt my hands

unclench, a small straight pure

vibrato in my spine

revive. There’s magic in these

gene cards that we shuffle out.


Some might say curse,

though they’d be wrong.

We gambled when

we started off. They’d say we

lost. But as he sang a sea arose

and washed a beach.

We know, who


struggle now, the monsters

that we wrestle with; and see

as in dark mirrors

who we are. Through clouds

our glance is one more gift

surprised: his copper hair, his

bright, too-wise blue eyes.  

 Version first published in The Raven's Perch (Dec. 1, 2020)