by Christopher Raley
It’s hard to resist him in the tiled shower
where water beats closing crease of mouth
(and storm beats doors of the house)
and etchings are hieroglyph of memory.
It’s hard to ignore his empty desk and
absent tools of pastime tagged and marked,
or his laugh at the table, a deaf old man
who echoes off tiles and shuttered windows.
Or it’s his bitterness growling in rain gutters
while the headlands all are dark like primitive man,
and wind beats gloomed houses and square,
and rain is a bestial hand risen from the ocean.
Tomorrow we will see his ghost in the forest where we walk
and keep an eye on the water for a shadow of storm.