(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 is the author of Clean (Persea Books, 2011). She teaches at the University of Wyoming and lives in Laramie, Wyoming.
Date Published: 2015-02-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/decorations