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Two poems by Mark Madigan

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

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Lourdes

When I first saw her

standing at the edge

of the open grotto


the old black woman

was just reaching up,


touching the lip

of the great rock wall.


Then she began

tap-tapping her hands


along any piece

of the wall she could reach


as the line she waited in

started to move.


Still, she kept tapping,

collecting on her hands

the cool spring water


seeping through unseen

cracks in the stone


before she pressed it

into the muscles

of her face & neck


& then started reaching

& tapping again,


afraid not to make

the most of her one

chance to touch something


she’d come to believe

was truly miraculous.




Fearless Fosdick


Even considering

how young I was,


it's hard to imagine

the affection I felt

for those cartoons


despite the fact

I didn’t get the joke,


didn’t know my favorite

comic book cop


was nothing but a parody

of Dick Tracy.


But that was the year

my father went to war,


and when I saw the big hole

blasted through the center

of Fosdick’s gut,


I recognized

it was how I felt.


And nothing I ate

while Dad was away—


whether school lunches

or the cookies I’d steal

from kitchen tins—


could fill the emptiness

in that space.

 

Mark Madigan received his MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is the author of Thump and other poems, a chapbook available from Finishing Line Press.

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