Your bird-brittle bones weighed less
than the casket of my sister's child.
You, dry as down, as cottonwood seeds
the long years cloud the glass.
Your well scrubbed floor under a sheen of motor oil now
they grind dirt into your carpets
Your clothes, and his hang in the closet
side by side in the room of your death.
There are deer in your garden,
come from along the power lines
to eat the spring shoots.
The Japanese beetles devour your Zinnias.
In the grave, all your forgotten Slovak returns
the language of a mother country you have never seen.
You whisper back and forth, with Andy
through the entangling roots. Cleveland dissolves.
The war is far away, and you are together
The Wonder Wheel spins above the boardwalk.
The gypsy again, in roller-skates.
You see only this, the soldiers in their uniforms
the girls with stocking seams painted up their legs.
Not your son, his dirty nails, his swallowed mouthful of truths.
Not the host passed over by your family, dutiful in borrowed suits .
Not the blue plastic madonna with broken hands,
the sardine cans in the sink.