Poem of the Week, by Lisa Olstein

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Hello, my grandparents. I drove by the farm before I came here. It took me a while to find it – I finally had to call Mom and Dad from the car because I drove up and down McGhee Hill Road and could not seem to find the driveway. No red barn, no white farmhouse, no sloping green lawn with big trees. Turns out I’d forgotten that you have to go up and over the hill before you get to the farm – it’s on the other side. You’ll be happy to hear that it looks beautiful. They’ve turned the barn into some kind of pottery place, or art studio. Artisanal cheese, maybe. Whoever those New Yorkers you sold it to are, they obviously love the place. Not the way we did, though. No one could love it the way we did, back then. 

Dear One Absent This Long While
     – Lisa Olstein

It has been so wet stones glaze in moss;
everything blooms coldly.

I expect you. I thought one night it was you
at the base of the drive, you at the foot of the stairs

you in a shiver of light, but each time
leaves in wind revealed themselves,

the retreating shadow of a fox, daybreak.
We expect you, cat and I, bluebirds and I, the stove.

In May we dreamed of wreaths burning on bonfires
over which young men and women leapt.

June efforts quietly.
I’ve planted vegetables along each garden wall

so even if spring continues to disappoint
we can say at least the lettuce loved the rain.

I have new gloves and a new hoe.
I practice eulogies. He was a hawk

with white feathered legs. She had the quiet ribs
of a salamander crossing the old pony post road.

Yours is the name the leaves chatter
at the edge of the unrabbited woods.

 

For more information on Lisa Olstein, please click here.