The House We Called Home
The moth, on her back below the porchlight. The cat toeing the top rail for centuries & it’s true the crows learn to imitate the other birds. One chair to another & back, my father’s body won’t come any stronger & there’s room yet for the alliums lifting tall, the hydrangeas but now they’re purple & maybe never blue. On an overcast day—this one, the one I know from childhood & all too well—there flickers every flower nameless to me. Add to them the branch of apples too small to eat & how we walked uphill, both ways, except there was no hill, nothing but the great disassembly into words. This head gone heavy between your hands & even death forgets to switch off the light, to say goodbye.
Michael Robins is the author of five collections of poetry, including People You May Know (2020) and The Bright Invisible (2022), both from Saturnalia Books. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, The Best American Poetry, Court Green, and Mississippi Review. He lives in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago. More at ifyoulivedhere.substack.com.