Spring 1984 • Vol. VI No. 2 A Gathering of PoemsApril 1, 1984 |

Oak

Even sealed as you were in oak, I wanted you in the living room, the wood that hid your face draped with red roses, hundreds scattering almost to the floor. With the lights off, the yellow candles glowed near the fireplace, making streaks of silver glitter in its black and grey stones; you, in front, wrapped in that oak blanket. I'd sit and remember the summer I'd spent on the back porch stripping and sanding every piece of old furniture I could haul from the basement. You'd come out to see, to run your hand over the woods, to name for me mahogany, cherry, walnut, "This is walnut." To urge me, "A little more," though my arms ached from sanding, "Make it smooth and the grain will come alive." So when they first arranged you in the living room, I felt the casket to be sure it was O.K., smooth as you said wood should be. I'd sit with you, knowing you could be quiet, without the pain that woke you when the house was dark and you were alone with it and nothing you could do would stop it.

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Even sealed as you were in oak, I wanted you in the living room, the wood that hid your face draped with red roses, hundreds scattering almost to the floor. […]

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Even sealed as you were in oak, I wanted you in the living room, the wood that hid your face draped with red roses, hundreds scattering almost to the floor. […]

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