Hope is the thing with feathers, the fist of a house-
hold god held to the blazing sky of Hiroshima,

mon amour, my careful ever. I can’t tell this lonesomeness
from the one it’s replacing, its heft and harrow: a hawk

with a husband in its cast bronze hands, the missing quiver:
the hypotenuse between us never seemed so calculable

as when your body, my urn of ashes, bobbed out of reach
on the swollen Mersey river. Hendiadys, bowed bent like a

who lives it over by living back: let me tell you about perforation.
I am a badly drawn creature washed up on a littered shore

and hope is the shells, small and cool, into which we hermits
each morning retract the startling need of our claws.

Copyright © 2015 by Michael D. Snediker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 19, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.