Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How the Past Comes Back

by Natasha Trethewey
From her collection entitled thrall

Like shadow across a stone,
     gradually - 
          the name it darkens;

as one enters the world
          through language - 
     like a child learning to speak
          then naming
everything; as flower

the neglected hydrangea
          endlessly blossoming - 
               year after year
     each bloom a blue refrain; as

the syllables of birdcall
     coalescing in the trees,
          repeating
a single word:
          forgets;

as the dead bird's bright signature -
          days after you buried it -
     a single red feather
          on the window glass

in the middle of your reflection.