Long Time Coming
nothing to do this day
bury our father
in the dense shade
of the linden tree
its heart-shaped leaves
here’s the sticky under-story
we, the children left behind
too loud, too bold, too much
like him, refuse to wilt
this hothouse afternoon
speak of small consolations
for his garden
an increase in worm castings
certain we smell rain
Window open to electromagnetic forces,
my uncle sends telepathic messages out there,
while I sit at his card table and wait for him
to receive a sign. A fly settles on a jam lid,
another buzzes inside the jar. I’m here to help
fill in the case questionnaire, commend him
for remembering his dentures. His answers
detour, come slowly, or not at all. He places
his hand on his t-shirt logo, a faded celestial map,
pressing the tight shirt even closer to his skin.
“Looks good on you.” He smiles, offers tea
in a blue enamel mug, takes nothing for himself.
“Soon everything will be all right,” he says.
I suspect he knows what I don’t.
Louisa Howerow’s latest poems appeared in The Fiddlehead, Carousel and Red Earth Review. Her poetry has also been included in anthologies, most recently, Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (ChiZine Publications),Cider Press Review, Best of, volume 16 and River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-First Century (Blue Light Press).