News from Home

Our daughter is trying to have a baby.
My brother, who watched from the 19th story
of his building, still dreams of people leaping
out of the Tower’s windows, floor collapsing
upon floor, the sun a zinc penny in the rancid
sky. The snow is falling like loosening fleece.
Our daughter is speaking to her body, “crocus,
forsythia, tulip, azalea, baby’s breath.”
She says Sal our contractor is chipping ice off
the rear patio, drilling an arm-size hole in the
brick wall for the dryer’s vent. The wind still blows
dust over the river, my brother’s face gray in his mirror.
The new mail box is green on a cream-colored post.
She says the mail carrier left the box of our chocolates
at the kitchen door and it lay buried for two days.
She says she is trying to persuade those narrow
tubes that her eggs need space and safe passage.
The Norway spruce and Douglas firs are swaying
like elevator shafts. Deer are eating the rhododendrons,
green-stained lips are sealing the envelopes that
forward our mail. The snow has been plowed
to one side by a man with one arm. The crack
maple has cracked, the fox has torn open last
night’s compost bag before it got to the compost pit,
the dawn breaks over the reservoir like spilled
light before it hardens, the spinning at night is
the Fraioli girl’s bald tires, my brother still wakes
at night on the fourth floor of his co-op building,
heat pressing at the window. Snow is still falling.
Our daughter is trying to have a baby.

John Allman | Mudlark No. 31
Contents | Dream