Where have the Parents Gone? by Judith Pulman

I have sought them at the close of day.

In the basement, living room, and the foyer—

They’re gone. So is the house, sold to monks who pray

For suffering’s cessation and stolid abstinence

From attachments. But I loved them, my parents

Who let me abide and gave me a chance

To ride on their spines. So I peel my eyes in the park,

And on the stuffy bus. If I didn’t feel pulled by the dark

Maybe I’d stop looking.


I have beheld other people’s parents, who

Baptize and add to their aging brood—

They offer me key-rings and even a room.

Brought to sobs at the pews of their refrigerator,

Such wonders to gulp—what was holy before?

And why are they kind to their less-than-kin?  I’m not sure,

But their meatloaf tastes like heaven and probably isn’t drugged.

Could this be family, too?  That damn dark tugs

Hardest when things almost get good.


Judith Pulman
streamimage Judith Pulman has had poems published in Ezra Journal, VoiceCatcher Magazine, and Night Bomb Press. She completed her MFA through the Rainier Writers Workshop in 2012. In addition to poems, she writes short stories and translates Russian Poetry. You can view her other work and projects at www.judithpulman.com.