the rustle of a Sunday bundle of newspapers tucked under my father's arm stop
and no father walking toward me stop
on the branch only oak leaves reddening as wind ripens their talent for exodus stop

on the lawn a scatter of wrens head-down but tail-erect stop
no bringing back the other world though every silence sounds for it stop
soft hiss then only all the rattle of useless memory caught in the unwieldy bundle of his dying stop

where I've tied it stop
waiting for the proscenium that the warblers' song might once again build around me stop
I purse my lips in an exaggerated exorcism of breath please advise

From the true keeps calm biding its story by Rusty Morrison. Copyright © 2008 by Rusty Morrison. Used by permission of Ahsahta Press.