Today's poem is by Adrianne Kalfopoulou
You sleep as you lived, far away
and alone, near green mountains uplifted
like the whole profile of your face,
though you stooped to usher in a stray,
prune the flowers so they spread
fuller on stems already heavy in blooms.
It was as if so much attention
were still too little to encourage
those shy lives. Quiet, on their own
and not very good at mixing,
the cats and Ortansias were at home
in that run-down place.
People shrugged and shook heads
at the state of disrepair a family could
leave a house in . . . how could they possibly
know the wealth inside, in the hands
separating crowded stems in rusted tins
gathered in a sun you worshipped
into dead winter. It is gone now,
the house, the Ortansias withered, the cats fled,
and the one cat with a name
quietly died in your bed, days after you.
Long past the third year of burial,
your bones have not been unearthed
to make room for the newly buried, I wonder
where they, you, the flesh itself
has transposed to. I know it is all earth,
indifferent, greedy for the exhausted shapes
of our failed eternities. But we never went
to see you, we never took you away.
Like your quiet love, your bones
speak our incompetence.
It is not that we didn't go to you; we thought
only of the flesh you knew so well
gives way to flowerings.
Copyright © 2002 Adrianne Kalfopoulou All rights reserved
from Wild Greens
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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