Sunday, April 02, 2017

"The Prototypical Ghosts" by Joe Bolton

The west field, wasted, seems day by day to recede
From the warped kitchen window where you stand in steam,
Your hand gone limp as the rag that won’t drop from it.
Like wom-out records, your frail parents, aging

Even when you were born, in their dotage
Seem more and more the prototypical ghosts
Of themselves, as if fifty years of food
From the same gray land had turned them gray as the land.

They hardly make a sound now, unless it is
To rasp a vague complaint, half remember a year
That has forgotten them, or tap against the table
Some object that’s outlasted its significance.

– Joe Bolton, from “The Last Nostalgia”

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