Lucie Brock-Broido gone to where all the great poets go

Carpe Demon

BY LUCIE BROCK-BROIDO

Where is your father whose eye you were the apple of?

Where are your mother’s parlor portieres, her slip-covered days, her petticoats?

In the orchard at the other end of  time, you were just a child in ballet slippers,

Your first poodle skirt, your tortoiseshell barrettes. As the peach tree grew more 

Scarce each day, you kept running out to try to tape the leaves back on their boughs.

Once, I caught you catch a pond of sunlight in your lap and when you stood, 

The sunlight spilt; it could never follow you. Once, above the river, 

You told me you were born to be a turtle, swimming down. Under the bridge 

Now you take your meals where the thinnest creatures live at the end

Of the world. Carpe Demon, you told me just before you put down the phone 

And drank the antifreeze. This year, the winter sky in Missouri is a kind of cold

The color of a turtle’s hood, a soup of dandelion, burdock root, and clay.