(tired and high-pitched)


Ghosts have been tied into the trees.
At dawn they pivot
In the wind slowly.

Where the moon windows in
I am of those
Who can’t stand it

Kept awake, humming with trucks
While anything lunar
Won’t rut, ruminates.  Overhead, uh-hunh

Days, the neighbor’s girl plays a game: what is?
What is dusk, she says, as the sky
ends it begins.

I play myself. What is death?  What’s poetry?  What
Is time?  Time needs no hanky, time blows by
the Kleenex flowers.  Or time’s

so slow, starry-cold, even is cold
            and sure, little admonishments.


Were you awake all night?

I was.  I was awake all night.


Copyright © 2014 by Kate Northrop. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“I wrote a draft of this poem after taking my dog for a pre-dawn walk during which the predictable had looked strange, especially those ghosts that go up in the trees around Halloween.  I wrote the poem to get closer to those ghosts, to think through the image of them, although the speaker of the poem tries (unsuccessfully, I think) to get away from them.”

Kate Northrop