Though unlikely, it is possible that someone
might try to speak to you, say tree
and mean your tree, the willow, the day
you hid under its pale skirt as adult voices
shook all the window panes in the house.
Say cat and mean the Manx that belonged
to the first woman you loved, the August evenings
on an apartment fire escape. Or perhaps
someone would whisper time and mean
your mother's gold wristwatch, its crystal
cloudy from wear, the perfume around her:
kid gloves, cigarettes, the tangerine peels
on the front seat of her green Oldsmobile.
Reprinted in the September 2008 issue of Poetry Magazine in memory of the poet, who died this past summer. There is an unpaged section at the back of the issue (not reproduced in the on-line version) with short samples by seven poets who have died in 2008.