Mudlark No. 40 (2010)

The Funeral

Rain falls inside the book I’m reading
as I fly across the country. 
Rain falls in various landscapes in my mind,
landscapes that have changed, of course, from what they were
when I lived there. Some rain makes nothing flourish.
In that way it’s like hair that grows for years beyond us. 
There is rain in the way you open your arms 
to hug an old friend you hardly recognize now.
I was happy as a tree, someone says to himself, 
in a forest, when the wind blew. But there is no one home
anywhere you look now, behind any door you open.
Early summer fireflies rise from the grass
into the branches of the maple tree 
planted the day you were born, where they disappear
behind the new leaves. It’s a big tree now,
reaching out across the lawn, fragrant, full of creatures 
who scurry and sing all the time, if you listen
more carefully than humans can. Then make yourself all air.

Michael Hettich | Mudlark No. 40 (2010)
Contents | The Delicate Bones