I can forgive the season its irritations— even the squawking blue jays who wake me before I've done sleeping. At least the winter is now buried under mounds of fallen camellia blossoms. Only when night's chill falls do I remember that snow the ground swallowed which now helps green the grass. Then, as darkness hides the new buds and turns the fresh leaves to black brocade, old thoughts return and I shiver a bit, recalling ghosts.
Trying to Raise the Dead
by Dorianne Laux
Look at me. I’m standing on a deck
in the middle of Oregon. There are
friends inside the house. It’s not my
house, you don’t know them.
They’re drinking and singing
and playing guitars. You love
this song, remember, “Ophelia,”
Boards on the windows, mail
by the door. I’m whispering
so they won’t think I’m crazy.
They don’t know me that well.
Where are you now? I feel stupid.
I’m talking to trees, to leaves
swarming on the black air, stars
blinking in and out of heart-
shaped shadows, to the moon, half-
lit and barren, stuck like an axe
between the branches. What are you
now? Air? Mist? Dust? Light?
What? Give me something. I have
to know where to send my voice.
A direction. An object. My love, it needs
a place to rest. Say anything. I’m listening.
I’m ready to believe. Even lies, I don’t care.
Say burning bush. Say stone. They’ve
stopped singing now and I really should go.
So tell me, quickly. It’s April. I’m
on Spring Street. That’s my gray car
in the driveway. They’re laughing
and dancing. Someone’s bound
to show up soon. I’m waving.
Give me a sign if you can see me.
I’m the only one here on my knees.