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;

living, listening.

 

 

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.

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