Friday, December 3, 2010

Giving Away the Ghost

Thanks to all who participated in the Noel Ghosts Giveaway this week. And thanks especially to Jen, whose poem Annunciation won her a copy of Contingency Plans.


At daybreak I hear a footfall
In the cold grass,
I feel an immanence, the threat
Of an eclipse, a veil
Over the sky

I step into my living room
Where my small faux tree
Last glittered
With its tiny white lights,
Its heralding angel
Against the gladdened
White walls
Of my own home

There, on Colorado’s pale blue
An eight-foot Alpine Fir
It has taken hours to trim

There are packages everywhere.
A shining gold bicycle.
A vintage Star of Bethlehem quilt
Folded, tied with a red satin ribbon

Instantly, I reach for my clothing,
My keys, to escape
With the dog to the river,
To let the cold air wake me,
Searing my lungs
But the door
Has swollen shut

And then I see my guest:
She sits with her back to me
In the wicker rocker,
From the immense
1870 family bible.


I know this intruder;
I once slipped from her
Turning and eager
Like a dolphin
Lay in her arms
Reaching for her voice

Once she sat with me in the car
driving out to the half-empty
house on the market
Where I demanded
She sort the picture frames
From the walk-in closet

Later, I said to her
on the telephone
to the nursing home
“No more chocolates
The next day she collapsed
In the beauty parlor

After the funeral
At the garage sale
I sold the Limoges china,
The bird’s eye maple desk,
That which she would have
Passed to me
For thirty pieces of silver.


We sip eggnog laced
with brandy
In a snowman cup;
A pine knot crackles
In the fireplace.

We muse over the packages
Hanging a chipped
Gilded angel ,
a hand-made miniature
rocking horse
on the lowest, barest branches

I surrender
to her steady, green-eyed
gaze: I anoint
her bruised feet,
I brush her dark hair.

Poem by Jenne’ Andrews.


L.L. Barkat said...

Good thing I already have my copy (ies) or I might be jealous. :)

Congratulations to Jenne!

I laughed at the title of this post. You are perfectly, quietly funny.

Laura said...

Very nice! Congratulations to Jen. I've enjoyed this haunting!