Like a whistle only dogs can hear
or notes tuned to adolescent ears,
like bats swooping through invisible night
with only uncanny sonar to guide
their dim-sighted way, like supersonic
angels ablaze at wave lengths hidden
to everyone but God, these inhabitants
of a world not quite ours pass
stealthily, like minutes and hours,
impervious to every sense but dread.
We call them many things, ancestors,
forebears, the loving dead,
but can never quite escape the sting
of their regard, their disappointment
and perpetual jealousy. Only when we join them
in their contempt for the living
do we understand, finally, what they mean,
those quaint concepts, eternity and hell.
Lee Rossi's poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Sun, Northwest Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pool, Southern Poetry Review, Nimrod, and Poet Lore, as well as other publications.