The Return


The Return


I have been seeing growth in the most unlikely place

hand-shaped leaves sprouting on the blunt ends of cut branches

as if to wave hello, or maybe goodbye, to the clear blue day.


I have watched necks reattach themselves to heads,

as if someone up there was making amends,

a universe seamstress mending our broken parts.


I even thought I saw a corpse stand up,

rubbing its eyes, bewildered,

elastic as a young sapling after a long, dark nap.


But of course, this is nonsense,

a whimsy that can’t outlast the lingering truth

that my grandmother, God rest her soul,

has not decided to take up residence inside a wolf’s gut.


Nor does the parakeet we buried in the shadow of the ferns

flit about the kitchen, its blue feathers buzzing the air.

No, it seems once you've punched your final ticket,

that's pretty much the end of your ride.


And yet, you might catch me in the earliest light

mixing up the trill of a bird with the sound of my mother's voice,

calling me in for something or other, you know how it is.


Could be that the bird is part of grandmother now

or mingling with the ineffable light—

that light everybody seems so hung up on.


I suspect grandmother could come back as the family dog,

punctuating her frustration on the leg of the dining table,

which, frankly, is as good a place as any to work out your reincarnation.


The question really is: where do we put all these absences,

the voids left by the ones who have packed up and moved on?

How does a child understand the vacancies

when she can outrun her playmates to the swings,

pumping her legs so furiously, the whole world gets dizzy?


Life, it turns out, is a series of leaving things behind,

only to find them again in the oddest of places—

in the curl of a leaf, the creak of a floorboard, or the silence of swings.

  • Author: gray0328 (Offline Offline)
  • Published: February 21st, 2024 11:27
  • Category: Reflection
  • Views: 2
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