Clay MatthewsOn television there’s an old movie about a ghost
that’s come to change a man’s life.
Next door the little girl howls
while her parents fight over a lost pipe.
The days are punctuated by street corners
and looking out windows,
the nights by deadbolts and Christmas lights.
Yesterday we had the Sweet Gum
tree in the front yard cut back,
leaving what we thought would survive.
To persist: a yellowed crack rock
in a sandwich bag, a fifth anniversary
party, a broken branch hanging down
still putting out a flower and leaves.
My daughter, two, flaps her arms
like wings and cries out: I can’t fly.
The dark sounds, she says, owls
in the night, a train in the distance;
she believes so deeply in the moon.
If you are good, the season will reward you
with ribbons and bows. If you are bad,
it’s all branches and blesséd stones.
Semis bounce down the… Read more »