An April Poem for National Poetry Month

I guess I shouldn’t let April pass without posting a poem. This is from my chapbook How Time Got Away (Pudding House Publications, (c)2005). The night I’m writing about something that happened over 30 years ago.

APRIL 16TH

Spring again, a sadness to swear by.
Lamplight filters through the shadow
of a neighbor’s death. In a back bedroom,
my father, cricket caught in a skeleton’s ribs,
sings “Old Ninety-Seven”
softly to himself. The breeze hooks
the melody like a mail sack,
slow train style. The breeze is antic,
doing spooky things to the front room curtains.

I sing, too. I sing this warm evening,
front porch and rocking chair. No one
has rocked me for years, but tonight
I cradle myself, humming
the flannel lullabies.
Beside the porch rail, the lilac
murmurs appreciatively.
My voice tests the night as quietly.

In an upstairs window
of the dead neighbor’s house,
a slip-clad figure pauses and springs.
The gauzy after-image
is eerie, more ghostly than an appearance
by the deceased himself.
Someone lowers the shade as tenderly
as the lid over a blank eye.
My father and I fall mute, tunes
collapsing in our throats like parachutes,
splendid billows of rapture
thinning to silk and cord.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon
This entry was posted in My Poetry, Sample Poems and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply