Letter to Those Away
POEMS OF SPRING
In your side yard this spring, the flowering white dogwood tree is more beautiful than you may have
ever desired. The neighbors' floating pink and white
petals, cherry and crabapple, again make this street
heaven we have done little enough to deserve.
Your house sits still and stolid, the grass is
cut, the lights come on at night. Nothing betrays
nothing alive inside, no cupboards opened, no
drawers slammed shut, no cups need washing,
no one has eaten, nothing ever needs
picking up. Only dust rains in,
each daylight fades the framed silver
oxide paper of family pictures, damp
invades, sills flake.
Though I do not know you or where to write,
I urge you: come from wherever you are.
It has been long. It is late. This house is
losing your memory. Whatever alluring mild
morning sea, incredible vista, be warned,
illusion is there. To be here is a fight, takes
friends. Some, with all their strength, their
weeding, weekend gathering, repair and
addition, are finding these houses and
yards still stumble, get mixed, tell
different stories of children growing,
answer to other families' names.
Come home now if you can.