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Visitor

by Brenda Shaughnessy

I am dreaming of a house just like this one

 

but larger and opener to the trees, nighter

 

than day and higher than noon, and you,

 

visiting, knocking to get in, hoping for icy

 

milk or hot tea or whatever it is you like.

 

For each night is a long drink in a short glass.

 

A drink of blacksound water, such a rush

 

and fall of lonesome no form can contain it.

 

And if it isn’t night yet, though I seem to

 

recall that it is, then it is not for everyone.

 

Did you receive my invitation? It is not

 

for everyone. Please come to my house

 

lit by leaf light. It’s like a book with bright

 

pages filled with flocks and glens and groves

 

and overlooked by Pan, that seductive satyr

 

in whom the fish is also cooked. A book that

 

took too long to read but minutes to unread—

 

that is—to forget. Strange are the pages

 

thus. Nothing but the hope of company.

 

I made too much pie in expectation. I was

 

hoping to sit with you in a tree house in a

 

nightgown in a real way. Did you receive

 

my invitation? Written in haste, before

 

leaf blinked out, before the idea fully formed.

 

An idea like a storm cloud that does not spill

 

or arrive but moves silently in a direction.

 

Like a dark book in a long life with a vague

 

hope in a wood house with an open door.

Read at St. Lydia’s on February 24, 2013

 

Posted in: Poems

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