Neil Silberblatt

Instructions from My 94 Year Old Mother

If I forget to
take my medicine, lose
my thought or misplace
my keys or who you are,
give me a clue
like in charades
or leave post-it notes by the fridge
where I will be sure to see them,
if I remember to look.

If I forget my
appointment or the year, or nod
off, rouse me with nettles
boiled and sterilized
no, not nettles
you know, but you won’t tell me, will you
needles, that’s it
not the ones for knitting
the other ones.

If I forget my
gloves or thoughts
which have loosened themselves
again and fallen off one by
one, waiting to be gathered in a box
for lost and found
re-attach them
with soft words and post-it notes.
And why do you talk of nettles?


Neil Silberblatt’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various journals, includingPoetica Magazine, The Otter, The Aurorean, Two Bridges Review, Verse Wisconsin, Naugatuck River Review, Chantarelle’s Notebook, and The Good Men Project. His work has been included in the anthology, Confluencia in the Valley: The First Five Years of Converging with Words(Naugatuck Valley Community College, 2013); and in University of Connecticut’s Teacher-Writer magazine.  He has published two poetry collections: So Far, So Good (2012), andPresent Tense (2013).  He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and one of his poems received Honorable Mention in the 2nd Annual OuterMost Poetry Contest (2014), judged by Marge Piercy.  Neil is the founder of Voices of Poetry – which has presented poetry events, featuring distinguished poets & writers, at various venues throughout CT, NYC and Cape Cod – and host of the Poets Corner program on WOMR/WFMR (91.3 or 92.1 FM out of Provincetown), for which he has interviewed acclaimed poets both on and off the Cape.