Blizzard + Dying Words
That’s a good word—blizzard—blurred, swift,
the sound fishing up from below
a long ago downdraft, snow, fast flicks
at my bedroom window, I was ten,
fine film of water blearing the glass,
orange slices in a bowl on the bedside table,
beneath the needle the Beatles keening
You don’t get me. Blizzard: is that the word
that floated into my head then? What
does it matter. He’s gone, that boy
is dead, now that I have thought,
so late, to make him speak.
Clod is gone, and nincompoop:
useful names for us once. They vanished
as my sad dying dad did
and one or two childish wild loves—
so slow to erode I took no notice
till a flitter of wind undid them.
Always some mindless spring
is spidering forth out of absence,
upright sticks in sludge
into fusses of pink and yellow.
Whatever is lost returns, just
in fresh form. What good is that?
O lion, turning your back,
padding grandly away into tall grass,
let me follow for once to where you go.
Of what you show me there,
I’ll say nothing, I promise.
Chris Forhan’s latest book is A Mind Full of Music: Essays on Imagination and Popular Song. He has also published a memoir, My Father Before Me, and three books of poetry and has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at Butler University in Indianapolis.