Dorianne Laux

Lapse

Poem beginning with a line from Gwendolyn Brooks

I am not deceived, I do not think it is still summer. I
see the leaves turning on their stems. I am
not oblivious to the sun as it lowers on its stem, not
fooled by the clock holding off, not deceived
by the weight of its tired hands holding forth. I
do not think my dead will return.  They will not do
what I ask of them.  Even if I plead on my knees.  Not
even if I kiss their photographs or think
of them as I touch the things they left me.  It
isn’t possible to raise them from their beds, is
it?  Even if I push the dirt away with my bare hands? Still-
ness, unearth their faces.  Bring me the last dahlias of summer.  

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© Dorianne Laux. All Rights Reserved.