the welcome guest

on the second night we sang songs of abandonment
and on the third night
and the fourth
and on every night
until the welcome guest said to us

why do you sing these songs to me
for these are the songs sung by the sea
and sung by the wind that shakes the trees

sing again that song you sang before
for that is the most terrible
and beautiful of all

but none of us could recall
any song that came before

wind through grass

she sat there like an old lioness
presiding over her wounds

and when she told of the children she’d abandoned
some fifty years before
who’d turned out alright
I saw tears well up behind her eyes

take away that prop I thought
and the whole citadel comes down

the whole citadel
that I am reminded
houses the soul

then I remembered my own mother
her own props and evasions
and a sudden gust rippled my conscience
like wind through grass

that night I dreamt of a white horse
standing in a burnt-out barn
stranded and irrecoverable