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memory

Haunted House

I moved into the haunted house
and gutted it to the bones. I wasn’t alone then,

and worked there as a team. 
We evicted squirrels from their vast nutshell nest,

filled dumpsters with fifty years of trash.

Losing

After your father gets lost for the third time,
      you get angry because he won’t answer his phone.
Part of me wants him to stay lost. God, what has stolen my generosity? 

Look, the Human Is Shrinking

It’s normal to do it alone, the feint-and-jab
           of forgetting. I believe in only what I can recite 

from memory, like the ninety-nine names
           for thirst: soft-hell, root-torn-from-soil, rain-

Elegy on the Far Bank


i.m. Greg Greger (1923–2015)

I. West of Chekhov

A month since Father died. Back in our old house, 
sisters, where were we? Desert of childhood, 
      great preserver, 

for you we opened another closet.
Father the farm boy––what didn’t he save?
      There his Army jacket 

Illustration by Anna Schuleit Haber

Nashua

I had driven to Nashua to look for farmhouses. I was researching abandoned farmhouses and wanted to find a part of New Hampshire with both rural and urban poverty.