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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2016 - Vol. 13, Issue 1

"Green Tongues"

written by

Louie Crew Clay

The 3

potted plants

I bought to comfort me

on the day you left,

have died.


The 1


that came free

with the roses

I bought to greet you

eight months earlier,


a new


Ah, 50!


Welcome to half a century


I hit that mark 28 years ago.

Now I notice it mainly by a new spot

on my hand, a new mole around my eyelid,

a new sharpness in the lower right arm.


I need three-in-one at every synapse.


But welcome. Joy anyway!

Louie Crew Clay, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers, has received three honorary doctorates citing his writing (2,251 items to date). He has been a fellow at the Ragdale Foundation and at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. In November Seabury Press published, Letters from Samaria: Poetry and Prose by Louie Crew Clay.


Clay is diabetic and has a Medtronic Pacemaker. He uses a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, uses a walker, and spends an hour each day in therapy boots to treat lymphema in his legs. He has had surgery three times recently to remove cancer from his cranium. He says, “Joy anyway! I am on the green side of the grass.”

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