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.