To Jake

- 1884-1944
You are turned wraith. Your supple, flitting hands,
As formless as the night wind’s moan,
Beckon across the years, and your heart’s pain
Fades surely as a stainèd stone. 

And yet you will not let me rest, crying
And calling down the night to me
A thing that when your body moved and glowed,
Living, you could not make me see.

Lean down your homely, mist-encircled head
Close, close above my human ear,
And tell me what of pain among the dead—
Tell me, and I will try to hear.

More by Eunice Tietjens

To Amy Lowell

who visits me in a hospital

Like a fleet with bellying sails, 
Like the great bulk of a sea-cliff with the staccato bark 
     of waves about it, 
Like the tart tang of the sea breeze
Are you;
Filling the little room where I lie straitly on a white 
     island between pain and pain.

Related Poems

Nothing Is Lost

She would emerge from nightmares,
inch by inch, in the kitchen.  Perched
on a wooden chair, she hugs her knees.
She is five, wearing a flannel gown
down to her ankles, with blue pistols
scattered over it, for killing mice at night,
her brother said.

                               The window lights up
like an altar.  With her eyes half closed,
she looks at the particles of dust turning
inside the light, landing on the floor,
painted warm chestnut, as Mother
insisted.

                    The coal stove still unlit,
she hears the breathing of the house,
its sunlit silence rising and falling,
a fly stirring, brushing its wings,
buzzing out of the dark corner.

                                                          I see her
making room among the shadows,
and remember: nothing is lost
until we miss it.