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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem: 96 words
By Laura Ann Reed


the way my father 
gestured with a hand, pleaded 
with fevered eyes, my father who wanted me 
to lift the oxygen mask so he could speak, 
wanted to apologize, confide, 
explain away my mother’s spite, 
wanted to touch my cheek, brush 
my forehead with his lips, watch 
my disappointment in him fade 

the desperation in his eyes as he pointed to the mask, 
the interval before I shook my head 

how they come and come, those moments, 
like crows at dusk—
dark shapes in a sky heavy with impending night, 
filled with everything but silence 


Laura Ann Reed
Issue 14, August 2022

received a dual BA in French/Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and subsequently completed Master’s Degree Programs in the Performing Arts, and Psychology. She was a dancer in the San Francisco Bay Area prior to assuming the role of Leadership Development Trainer at the San Francisco headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She and her husband now reside in western Washington. Her work has been anthologized in How To Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, and has appeared in Loch Raven, The Ekphrastic Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and Willawaw, among other journals.

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