Frannie Lindsay: “Lullaby One Year Later”
LULLABY ONE YEAR LATER
The things your children gave away
have been given away
again. A child practices her little cello
to your rosewood metronome.
Your schoolhouse clock now chimes
its quarter-hours from a farmhouse kitchen.
Your ten-speed leans, unlocked, against
a shadeless chain-link.
Some of your ashes
rest in a thrift shop urn beside
the piano, the others in the stony ground
of Maine. When I play the music
that you loved—still love—
I ask the notes for nothing.
Instead, I ask the close-by chips
of tumbled bone to gather themselves up,
put on your flannel shirt and out-of-fashion
chinos, your lambs wool slippers;
to nestle your hearing aids
deep in their caves of cartilage;
and when you are thus assembled
and can stay a moment,
come sit in the rocking chair, and fall asleep,
for the phrase I labored over
has grown easy, and the same bay window
opens onto summer. Fall back to sleep;
Frannie Lindsay has a forthcoming book, The Snow’s Wife, due out from Cavankerry Press in October. This will be her sixth volume. Lindsay has recently been published in various journals, including Adroit, Poet Lore, Plume, under a warm green linden, and Field.