Monday, December 18, 2006

A Prayer and a Wake, for Jack

Robins on a frost-covered table

sip water from melting ice

and I see their red breasted life

in this gray-mist twilight

just after we buried a brother.

“Give us this day,” we said

with the priest, “our daily bread”

while birds found clear elixir.

Now I pour a scotch and drink

liquid coals to remind myself

flesh remains on Earth.

This is all I can imagine

and the pine tree’s fronds

and bobbing feathery doubles

reflected outside the glass.

C. Denise Low. Published 17 Dec. 2006 in the Kansas City Star (F10)


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  2. Awake, for Jack

    Dead morning full of wind.
    It’s enough to make you think
    Mother Earth’s a real phony baloney.
    My past lives hanging in the closet
    From nooses of shadow and spider web.
    Or so I would believe,
    If I ever got around to getting dressed.

    The landscape is choked by robins
    Whose red undercarriages
    Set the ice on fire devilishly.
    And you, my love, up to read the obits.
    Our crib is next-door to the graveyard,
    And the sliding glass reflects everything
    To the scale of a blind kid’s dollhouse mirror.

    Widows leave whiskey flasks
    And love letters at the stones of war vets,
    Hearses from black-and-white comedies
    Are rigged with faulty locks, and a ditch
    Digger in his casket slides back down the hill.
    A priest, deadpan, reads from his favorite
    Book, hot around the collar.

  3. This is fun--parodies are flattering. I like "red undercarriages."