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Yahrzeit Candle

On the second birthday
of your death

has changed,
though perhaps

I look less often
towards the grassy door
you left by.

The past
is a real place,
a lost and found

of days torn
off the calendar,
a littered sidewalk

where you wait
for me,
that old look

on your face —
part patience

exasperation —
and me stuck again
in a traffic jam

of noisy
and permutations.

Linda Pastan’s most recent book is The Imperfect Paradise (New York: W.W.Norton & Co.. 1988). She lives in Potomac, Maryland.