May I Be Familiar

May I Be Familiar

Do we find you in what you’ve left or where you’ve gone.

In words you could not form, or forgot long ago.

Missing the pastels, the shades, all nuance.

With moistened hands, I pat rice into a ball and wrap it in seaweed.

By my reckoning, the word who no longer implicates.

Ritual accumulates significance in memory.

Forgotten fruit on the sill. A whisper nailed to the wall.

Honor and pride line your earthen home.

Though you never did, I pickle ginger. Make takuan.

The transparent house reflects no gaze and contains no one.

Gathering your absence, I coil it around my body.

* * *

“May I Be Familiar” is included in my mini-digital chapbook, Interval’s Night, published in 2016 by Platypus Press as #10 of their 2412 series.

22 thoughts on “May I Be Familiar

  1. This is such a commanding piece – so elegant, so inspired, for the startling lines that seem to both flow together with such ease, and yet sometimes contradict, a slight friction, a gentle rubbing – not quite of irritation, but rather, a simple “presence” – a reminder. And it breathes, again, between the spaces, the lines, and leaves one with the actual feeling of the weight of loss and grief. And yet, it delicately dances with the counterpane of lightness too. Very deft and sensitively written.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this poem! We just spent a week in Edmonton, AB going through the things my father in law left behind as he passed on to the next life. So many familiar items: photos, pictures, writings, drawings he made, and many more items. All the familiar was present in this event!

    Liked by 1 person

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