Oaks or chestnuts, what here
draws brass linen, wakes me, overcast,
with the polished sprigs of my grandmother’s
lamp, holding the plumed shade once
holding fire by her opened Bible, parsed
for the night’s reading. Across dark and
plywood, an aqueduct’s dry run, listen
my voice, around her house, croton leaves
from the oven’s heat, levitating.
Saturdays doubles her to a bee. I outstare
the sea and summon the carols of Christmas;
her fake pine tree, its foil star
perforates the town’s gossiping lights.
I again turn the pages, she sleeps
in the watered-down night.
Where do they go? Where do they go?
Copyright © 2018 Ishion Hutchinson. This poem originally appeared in Kenyon Review, November/December 2018. Used with permission of the author.
Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of House of Lords and Commons (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016).
Date Published: 2018-11-12
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/carol