Poems in a Drawer
this past was waiting for me when i came. . . and i with my mother's itch took it to breast and named it History. -Lucille Clifton I Little Butterfly can you tell me what happens when we die? You flutter a funny allegro dance in search of nectar. I flutter, but without your grace. Tell me Butterfly, what happened when she died? II I set out to destroy the dam that has halted the flow of feelings. I risk drowning in search of, you, Grandmother, and myself. III You wrote "Most of the things Which people want much, Are usually the things That are just out of touch" But who can tell me, how out of touch are the dead? how far away are you? IV "Knowing full well this heart unskilled Will cling to ghosts it has not killed" I seek to confront the questions of my past. But I would not want to kill your memory, rather I seek to flesh it out. I merely have the edge pieces of the puzzle mostly put together, all the rest lies in disarray across the table. V Sifting through dozens of photographs shut up in the drawers of a coffee table, I scan the faces of so many people I never knew, and recognize my big round eyes, long nose, marvel at the features they have given me and wonder what other genetic heirlooms are lurking in my body VI Eighteen short poems little windows into your life. Did you know that when you died someday all your belongings would be thrown on the world? That some child you never dreamed of would cherish every syllable that you wrote.