an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Barbara Novack


He will go when he’s ready to go.

He will know, decide.

It is not up to me,

I can’t keep him here

much as I might want to.

My vigil is for me

to be with him

the breathing him

however hard those breaths might become.

He won’t know

not really.

He may sense but

he may not even be here then;

he may be drifting

testing out the clouds.

The vigil is for me

for us to be we

a while longer.

Barbara Novack is Writer-in-Residence and member of the English Department at Molloy College, where she founded and hosts the Poetry Events reading series. Off campus, she conducts highly regarded creative writing workshops. Recent books: (poetry) ‘Something Like Life, Do Houses Dream?’, ‘A Certain Slant of Light’, ‘Dancing on the Rim of Light’; (novel) ‘J.W. Valentine’.