Posted tagged ‘My Lost Dog Reads Things Under “D”’

“Missives” (And First Time Light Sculpture Film)

September 15, 2012


The first time I communicated with the dead
was through the “D” volume of
my Junior Britannica.
My letter was addressed
to my lost dog, though her name, which even today
is too embarrassing for me to repeat, began
with a C.

The next time was in the shadow
of my grandmother’s casket
as I watched my aunt rub out
the lipstick she felt
too bright
for the corpse
of someone so
“I’m sorry,” I thought to my
grandmother, “but you know
how she is.”

Since then, I haven’t lost count–
communications with the dead
are not something
one loses track of – I just can’t bear
to recite the coordinates – the place, the time, the
of sobs (interior
or wracking), the wait
for blessing.

My missive
is almost always the same – “I’m sorry” in all
its permutations – for your death, for
my life, for what I did–more often, for what
I didn’t do–

You’d think that I would learn by now.
You’d think that I’d be different,
but the dead, you see,
at least the ones I talk and write to,
are so forgiving–their stroking hush
holds me, allows me to go on
even as I am.


The above poem was written for dVerse Poets Pub’s Poetics Challenge on “First Times,” hosted by Fred Rutherford (of Poetical Psyche).  The video was made of a light sculpture by Jason Martin. 

Check out dVerse for lovely poetry, and, if you have time, check out my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.  Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!