The House
And once I dreamed of a house
That had my father’s eyes,
The curtains blowing lightly
Through the open window,
The wooden balconies
Carved into tired eyelids.
And inside the rooms were circular,
White and fragile as the bones of bird,
And I walked down the hall
Trying to find the room of anger,
Or the room of nervousness,
Or the room of laughter.
Instead I found a room full of books,
Old prints and worn notebooks,
And I thought: “But these are mine, not his.”
And I was upset
Until, waking up, I remembered a poem
I had written years ago:
             “. . . and so your love is everything
             that stays unopened in my heart.”
The Souris Valley
Everything resolves itself
In space —
The horizon curved
Beneath the oval moon,
The slow arch of the road,
The fields of wheat
Shaped like eyelids.
Even the joy and sadness
Have drifted from desire.
Dreams have dropped their images
Existing in pure forms.
And now, I see my mind
Like a grain of wheat
Or a shaving of wood.
For Flannery
How lucky you are, my little girl,
To have a father who is never sad.
He can show you where the trees hide the sun,
And sing you songs
As delicate as the frost in spring.

How lucky you are to have a father
Who opens and closes like the moon.
Someday he will hold you over the water
And let green fish
Come to the surface and mirror themselves.

How lucky you are that your father is sometimes small
In the enormous detail of the world.
Like a sparrow fanning his wings in the hazel brush,
You have to go deep into the woods to find him.

And when you are older
You will come home and hear him sleeping,
Like a younger sister, sleeping
In the room across the hall.
And you will smile and feel sorry for him,
Still lost in his innocent imagination.