19 September 2011

Remembering It

for father and brother

I remember it. Men coming to our house
one night to pound the outside with marching boots.
Autumn has never forgotten how to bleed,
get into the ground through the blood of a soldier
that feeds our system, dead leaves in the yard
of redness, having made up their minds to go.
Leaves are impersonal, though, we do not know them,
have never loved their name or laughed with them
at the expense of a toddler's first steps,
haven’t ever told them the story of this one girl
who makes the cosmos less stony, shining through
the space of our cold classroom, while the moon
deep within a dark silence drifts on a low mile,
showing its face, its pitiless face at a soldier’s ruin.
What that struggle has made of me is a living man.
I’m covered in loss. What must vindicate him
is the sun: planets whirling around, the moon stuck
among reeds outside our hut, lighting the lake
with a reverence that even midnight needs.

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