2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2007
Some of the finest poetry ever written has its origin in the common human experience of coping with adversity. The poetry by Donald Platt comprising "My Father Says Grace" draws for its inspiration and subject matter struggling with such issues as a father's stroke and dementia, a mother-in-law's cancer, a brother's Down syndrome, as well as lesser matters of loss that are universal to us all. Platt's deftly crafted free verse poetry is rooted in an ultimate but clear-headed optimism as his lyrics deal with illness, loss, grief, aging, and death. "My Father Says Grace" is a remarkable body of work and strongly recommended reading -- especially for anyone struggle with similar issues of their own. 'Mirage': Because my mother's eyes have been failing from gradually progre4ssing/glaucoma, she doesn't see the dust that shrouds//all the mirrors in her house/with its fine gray veil. I look into the two hazy oval mirrors/that gaze down//over my parents' double dresser from their frames/of bird's eye/maple. Sunk deep in their silver shallows,//a woman combs her wavy auburn hair and rubs cold cream into/her smooth//cheeks, which will slowly erode to old age's arroyos, waiting/for the winter/rains to fill and flood the dry washes. A man adjusts//his loud tie,/carefully tightening its noose. He kisses her neck and hands her/from behind his back//a prink rose freaked with yellow, which she puts in a bud vase/before the mirrors, where//its wilting flame become doubled, then gutters. Two brothers sneak//into their parents'/ bedroom and jump up and down on the forbidden bed/in weightless//ecstasy. The boy I once was stands naked and holds up his mother's/hand mirror/to the larger mirrors, so that he can see what his back and buttocks//look like,/ the secret cleft, those two globes like the flesh of a flushed, silvery/peach. We are//dust on the surface of an old mirror. What hand will wipe it clean/and clear/to reveal ourselves, ripples rising from the black asphalt's heat?