things don’t die or remain damaged
but return: stumps grow back hands,
a head reconnects to a neck,
a whole corpse rises blushing and newly elastic.
Later this vision is not True:
the grandmother remains dead
not hibernating in a wolf’s belly.
Or the blue parakeet does not return
from the little grave in the fern garden
though one may wake in the morning
thinking mother’s call is the bird.
Or maybe the bird is with grandmother
inside light. Or grandmother was the bird
and is now the dog
gnawing on the chair leg.
Where do the gone things go
when the child is old enough
to walk herself to school,
her playmates already
pumping so high the swing hiccups?
Kimiko Hahn (born 1955 Mount Kisco, New York) is an American poet and instructor of poetry.
Hahn received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and an M.A. from Columbia University.
She is a distinguished professor at Queens College, CUNY and has also taught at New York University, and University of Houston.