GEORGE BARKER (from) In Memory of David Archer


The memories of other mornings
rise and flash within the mind
until its glass and cloudy houses
crowd with what was left behind.
I see the child dance under water
with dead flowers in its hand
and, once again a ragamuffin
the bones that lie upon the sand.

Charley, are you there still, Charley?
Who’s banging on the backyard door?
I hear the dogs of childhood whining
to scramble at my heel once more:
and in the parks the sleeping sisters
lying in their crumpled frocks
rise from the grave and shake the death like
leaves out of their tangled locks.

What, my heart, is the wind crying?
I cannot see the morning sky.
Across the night I hear replying
the sheeted hobnobbers on high:
they hide and, homeless in the darkness,
howl like dogs that cannot go
back to the cloudy houses where we
lived and died so long ago.

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