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Chris Bullard 

Various Absences 


My Alzheimer’s-addled mom picks up

the program for dad’s funeral and gasps,


“Dick is dead,” as though we, returned

from his rites, might not have heard.


We flip the folded sheet to its other face,

a sepia litho, palm trees and a cross,


beside the church that they attended

these forty years. Reading, she calms,


contemplating the image like a card

dealt her at bridge, thinking of the play


of tricks, until, reversing it to dad’s life

summary, she cries again “Dick is dead.”


Taking knowledge from her hands,

we unfix memory, lead her back from hell.    

IMG_2827 - christopher bullard.jpg



A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Chris Bullard is a retired judge who lives in Philadelphia. In 2022, Main Street Rag published his chapbook, Florida Man, and Moonstone Press published his chapbook, The Rainclouds of y. Finishing Line Press has accepted his chapbook, Lungs, for publication in 2024. He was nominated this year for the Pushcart Prize.

Bear Review


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