Aaron Caycedo-Kimura

Survivor’s Bell

Originally published in Louisiana Literature


a crystal tone cracks        waiting room silence        stops

time from breathing        like a symphony’s final chord


another survivor        a young woman        beams

next to the brass bell         mounted on the wall


rippling applause        other patients        once-over

her posture        complexion        full head of short hair


my mother at eighty-six        returns to her crossword

erases a row of squares        wipes the dust off the page


staring at my iPad’s lock screen        I’m certain

she’ll never pencil        the ten letters        she needs

Aaron Caycedo-Kimura is the author of Ubasute (Slapering Hol Press, 2021) and Common Grace (Fall 2022). His honors include a St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award in Literature and nominations for the Pushcart PrizeBest of the Net, and Best New Poets anthologies. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry JournalPoetry DailyRHINOupstreetVerse DailyDMQ ReviewPoet LoreThe Night Heron Barks, and elsewhere.