blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Book of Hours

If there'd be no splendid restitution,
then what? Pennies from Heaven, I thought,
it's a song, don't get yourself worked up.
I'd wanted to be free, no longer
bearing that black silk banner, its corners weighted
with lead coins against the breeze. It's a spectacle,
isn't it, that kind of sorrow? And as for freedom—
give it to the young, it's their turn to throw it away.
When you were dying, I told you I'd always kept my eye
upon you, watchful, and you looked back at me
to say that wasn't true, no way. So much
for the brave, heartening moment. Then you died.
For a long time I sat with your body, I still loved it,
stroking your hair as I'd done years before.
I couldn't leave the room for hours, couldn't even
empty the water pitcher or start folding your clothes.  

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